Friedrich Durrenmatt Quotes

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Friedrich Dürrenmatt

Dürrenmatt in 1989
Born (1921-01-05)5 January 1921
Konolfingen, Bern, Switzerland
Died 14 December 1990(1990-12-14) (aged 69)
Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Occupation Playwright, novelist
Language German
Nationality Swiss
Notable works The Physicists
The Visit
Years active 1957-1990
Spouse Lotti Geißler (1946-1983) (her death) (3 children)
Charlotte Kerr (1984-1990) (his death)

When death has you by the throat, you don't mince words.
We are the world.
People like us who are on their last leg can only understand comedies.
Power is paradoxical.
Before anything else, we need a new age of Enlightenment. Our present political systems must relinquish their claims on truth, justice and freedom and have to replace them with the search for truth, justice, freedom and reason.
Friedrich Durrenmatt
Emotions have no place in business, unless you do business with them.
There are risks which are not acceptable: the destruction of humanity is one of them.
Friedrich Durrenmatt
Revolutions demand enormous sacrifices and, at the same time, create a new need to change the world again.
Friedrich Durrenmatt
Nothing that has been thought can ever be taken back.
You can't take back an act you were able to think.
Pretend to be dumb, that's the only way to reach old age.
Only the freedom of mind can prevent the state from becoming totalitarian and from issuing totalitarian demands.
Friedrich Durrenmatt
Today's Communism can survive only if it abandons the myth of an infallible party, if it continues to think, and if it becomes democratic.
Friedrich Durrenmatt
The difference between humans and wild animals is that humans pray before they commit murder.
Friedrich Durrenmatt
For people who have no critical acumen, a state is a mythical entity, for those who think critically it is a rational fiction, created by man in order to facilitate human coexistence.
Friedrich Durrenmatt
I am a man, and God is hiding from us humans. We are unable to see Him, we can only search for Him.
Friedrich Durrenmatt
A state always calls itself fatherland when it is ready for murder.
Everything that is necessary is also easy. You just have to accept it. And the most necessary, the most natural matter on this planet is death.
Friedrich Durrenmatt
Truth is always a delusion.
Religion and political expediency go beautifully hand in hand.
So then learn to conquer your fear. This is the only art we have to master nowadays: to look at things without fear, and to fearlessly do right.
Friedrich Durrenmatt
News reports don't change the world. Only facts change it, and those have already happened when we get the news.
Friedrich Durrenmatt
A story is not finished, until it took the worst turn.
The savages don't have atom bombs.
The art of the cuisine, when fully mastered, is the one human capability of which only good things can be said.
Friedrich Durrenmatt
Our science has become terrible, our research dangerous, our findings deadly. We physicists have to make peace with reality. Reality is not as strong as we are. We will ruin reality.
Friedrich Durrenmatt
In a society which is structured the wrong way, piety has no effect.
It is inhuman to continue a war which could easily be ended.
Human life is beyond comprehension.
Someone who is about to die does not mourn the dead.
Man is imperfect. The reality he creates is always endangered by man.
The rightful claim to dissent is an existential right of the individual.
Resistance at all cost is the most senseless act there is.
For a person who is dying only eternity counts.
This inhuman world has to become more humane. But how?
One does not set fire to a world which is already lost.
It is surely easier to confess a murder over a cup of coffee than in front of a jury.
Friedrich Durrenmatt
Above all, be suspicious of your fatherland. Nobody is more inclined to become a murderer than a fatherland.
Friedrich Durrenmatt
The world is bad but not without hope. It is only hopeless when you look at it from an ideal viewpoint.
Friedrich Durrenmatt

Truth is always a delusion.
A major power can afford a military debacle only when it looks like a political victory.
Friedrich Durrenmatt
We do not consider patriotism desirable if it contradicts civilized behavior.
Friedrich Durrenmatt
Everything in the world can be changed, my dear Florestan, but the human being.
Friedrich Durrenmatt
The problems of all of humanity can only be solved by all of humanity.
Whoever is content with the world, and who profits from its lack of justice, does not want to change it.
Friedrich Durrenmatt
Without tolerance, our world turns into hell.
The evolution of humans can not only be seen as the grand total of their wars; it is also defined by the evolution of the human mind and the development of the human consciousness.
Friedrich Durrenmatt
Who sows fear, reaps weapons.
World history is tragic.
A story has been thought through to the end when it has taken the worst possible turn.
Friedrich Durrenmatt
Justice is horrible.
The worst possible turn can not be programmed. It is caused by coincidence.
Friedrich Durrenmatt
It is easy to kill when you don't see your victim.
The freedom of each individual can only be the freedom of all.
The only remedy against hunger is reasonable birth control.
Today's difference between Russia and the United States is that in Russia everybody takes everybody else for a spy, and in the United States everybody takes everybody else for a criminal.
Friedrich Durrenmatt
Communism is a proposition to structure the world more reasonably, a proposition for changing the world. As such, we have to analyze it and, if we deem it reasonable, act upon it.
Friedrich Durrenmatt
There are thoughts we must not think.
There is a moment when nothing can be wiped out and left behind any more, when there is only reality and reality is horrifying.
Friedrich Durrenmatt