Whittaker Chambers Quotes

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Whittaker Chambers

Whittaker Chambers in 1948
Allegiance  Soviet Union
 United States
Service “Communist underground” controlled by GRU
Active 1932–1938 (spy), 1922–1959 (writer, poet), 1926–1939 (translator)
Award(s) Presidential Medal of Freedom (1984), Order of the Red Star (1937)
Codename(s) Carl (Karl)
  David Breen
  Lloyd Cantwell
Other work Jay David Whittaker Chambers
Birth name Jay Vivian Chambers
Born (1901-04-01)April 1, 1901
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died July 9, 1961(1961-07-09) (aged 60)
Westminster, Maryland, U.S.
Cause of
Heart attack
Nationality American
Religion Episcopalian (birth), Quaker
Parents Jay Chambers, Laha Whittaker
Spouse Esther Shemitz
Children daughter, son
Occupation Journalist, Writer, Spy, Poet, Translator
Alma mater Columbia University

A nation's life is about as long as its reverential memory.
Human societies, like human beings, live by faith and die when faith dies.
I see in Communism the focus of the concentrated evil of our time.
At issue was the question whether this man's faith could prevail against a man whose equal faith it was that this society is sick beyond saving, and that mercy itself pleads for its swift extinction and replacement by another.
Whittaker Chambers
Every man is crucified upon the cross of himself.
For in this century, within the next decades, will be decided for generations whether all mankind is to become Communist, whether the whole world is to become free, or whether, in the struggle, civilization as we know it is to be completely destroyed or completely changed.
Whittaker Chambers
At issue in the Hiss Case was the question whether this sick society, which we call Western civilization, could in its extremity still cast up a man whose faith in it was so great that he would voluntarily abandon those things which men hold good, including life, to defend it.
Whittaker Chambers
I know that I am leaving the winning side for the losing side, but it is better to die on the losing side than to live under Communism.
Whittaker Chambers
On a scale personal enough to be felt by all, but big enough to be symbolic, the two irreconcilable faiths of our time – Communism and Freedom – came to grips in the persons of two conscious and resolute men.
Whittaker Chambers
A witness, in the sense that I am using the word, is a man whose life and faith are so completely one that when the challenge comes to step out and testify for his faith, he does so, disregarding all risks, accepting all consequences.
Whittaker Chambers
Tragedy occurs when a human soul awakes and seeks, in suffering and pain, to free itself from crime, violence, infamy, even at the cost of life. The struggle is the tragedy – not defeat or death.
Whittaker Chambers
When you understand what you see, you will no longer be children. You will know that life is pain, that each of us hangs always upon the cross of himself. And when you know that this is true of every man, woman and child on earth, you will be wiser.
Whittaker Chambers
The chief fruit of the First World War was the Russian Revolution and the rise of Communism as a national power.
Whittaker Chambers
Political freedom is a political reading of the Bible.
On that road of the informer, it is always night. I cannot ever inform against anyone without feeling something die within me. I inform without pleasure, because it is necessary.
Whittaker Chambers
My children, as long as you live, the shadow of the Hiss Case will brush you. In every pair of eyes that rests on you, you will see pass, like a cloud passing behind a woods in winter, the memory of your father – dissembled in friendly eyes, lurking in unfriendly eyes.
Whittaker Chambers
It is popular to call it a crisis of the Western world. It is in fact a crisis of the whole world. Communism, which claims to be a solution of the crisis, is itself a symptom and an irritant of the crisis.
Whittaker Chambers
The Communist vision is the vision of man without God.
A man is not primarily a witness against something. That is only incidental to the fact that he is a witness for something.
Whittaker Chambers
I do not know any way to explain why God's grace touches a man who seems unworthy of it.
Whittaker Chambers
In 1937, I began, like Lazarus, the impossible return.