Saturday, April 08, 2006

What I Saw At The Revolution

I turned to [Berthold] Brecht and asked him why, if he felt the way he did about Jerome and the other American Communists, he kept on collaborating with them, particulary in view of their apparent approval or indifference to what was happening in the Soviet Union.

[...] Brecht shrugged his shoulders and kept on making invidious remarks about the American Communist Party and asserted that only the Soviet Union and its Communist Party mattered. [...] But I was the Kremlin and above all Stalin himself who were responsible for the arrest and imprisonment of the oppostion and their dependents.

It was at this point that he said in words I have never forgotten, "As for them, the more innocent they are, the more they deserve to be shot." I was so taken aback that I thought I had misheard him.

"What are you saying?" I asked.

He calmly repeated himself, "The more innocent they are, the more they deserve to be shot." [...]

I was stunned by his words. "Why? Why?" I exclaimed. All he did was smile at me in a nervous sort of way. I waited, but he said nothing after I repeated my question.

I got up, went into the next room, and fetched his hat and coat. When I returned, he was still sitting in his chair, holding a drink in his hand. When he saw me with his hat and coat, he looked surprised. He put his glass down, rose, and with a sickly smile took his hat and coat and left. Neither of us said a word. I never saw him again.

--Sidney Hook, Out of Step: An Unquiet Life in the 20th Century

Update: I decided to change the header. I'll probably make a series of this, like with the Jihad posts.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this post, I will look out for this book. I am quite familiar with the works of Bertolt Brecht. I just didn't realize just how fanatical he actually was. Sheesh.


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