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Friedrich Kellner

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Friedrich Kellner ( pronounce) (February 1, 1885 – November 4, 1970) was a political organizer and a justice inspector in Germany. He wrote a secret diary during the Third Reich to record the crimes of the Nazis. His ten-volume diary was on exhibit at the George Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas, in 2005. In 2007, CCI Entertainment in Toronto, Canada, made the documentary movie, "My Opposition: the Diaries of Friedrich Kellner," and Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany, is preparing the diary for publication.

Sourced quotes

Translated from the original German. Quotes from the diary are in chronological order. The original quotes can be found on Deutsch (German) Wikiquote
  • "To trample democracy with one’s feet and to give power to a single man over almost eighty million people is so terrible that one can very probably tremble over the events which will come here."[1]
Simple: To step on democracy and give power to one man over eighty million people is so terrible that we must fear what will happen.
  • "Terror is trump. Common, brutal suppression methods are considered as sanctified laws. “Old Fighters” are holy ones. From the district leader upwards there are only Gods!"[2]
Simple: Terror rules. Common, brutal means to suppress people are considered lawful. Soldiers from the previous war are the heroes. People who are district leaders or higher are like Gods.
  • "The “Conqueror from Berlin,” as he has named himself, has completely conquered Germany. And not only that. Unfortunately, many, all too many Germans living abroad, also have fallen for the cunning propaganda."[3]
Simple: The "Conqueror from Berlin," as Hitler calls himself, has completely conquered Germany. And not only that. Sadly, many Germans living in other countries have also fallen for the cunning lies.
  • "Why only hate? Where does love remain? Or at least a little decency toward other people? Exactly the same as we behaved against the Jews, we now wish to do against all other people who are in our way, to smash, crush - yes, even exterminate."[4]
Simple: Why is there only hate? Where is the love? Where is the decency shown to other people? We are doing to everyone who stands in our way what we did to the Jews: to smash them, crush them - yes, and even kill every one of them.
  • "The butchering may continue as it will, it shall remain the historical guilt of the Western powers that they did not promptly provide the sharpest preventative measures against the continued attack-politics Germany undertook. Possibilities existed for this, but no measures were seized upon."[5]
Simple: The murder is continuing. The Western countries are to blame, because they did not stop Germany at the very beginning. They could have done this, but they did nothing.
  • "Spineless politics do not change the mind of a tyrant."[6]
Simple: Politicians who are afraid will not be able to stop tyrants.
  • "Now the following questions have to be raised: did the occupation of other countries improve our own happiness? Does the individual German get anything out of such conquests? Won't we get into trouble with another powerful nation some place tomorrow or the day after? The differences in interests among the large nations will not be diminished by expanding ourselves."[7]
Simple: Now we ask these questions: are we happy because we took over other countries? Does any single German gain anything out of these conquests? Won't we get into trouble with another strong nation some time soon? Just because Germany got bigger does not mean the other nations will lose their interests in what they themselves want.
  • "The world will rightfully be upset over so much inhumanity, and a hate will burn that can never be extinguished. How long will this reign of terror continue?"[8]
Simple: The world will rightfully be upset over so much cruelty, and will burn with a hate that can never be put out. How long will this rule of terror continue?
  • "There is no punishment that would be hard enough to be applied to these Nazi beasts. Of course, in the case of this coming retribution, the innocent will have to suffer along with them. Ninety-nine percent of the German population have directly or indirectly the guilt for the present situation. Therefore we can only say, those who travel together hang together."[9]
Simple: There is no punishment that is hard enough for these Nazi animals. Of course, when we think of the coming punishment, the people who did nothing wrong will have to be punished along with them. Ninety-nine percent of the German people have done wrong in these things: either they did wrong actions themselves, or they were part of other people doing wrong actions. So we can only say that those who travel together will be killed together.
  • "The children are designated as “Air Force aides of the Hitler Youth” and wear military uniforms and become used to handling the anti-aircraft artillery flak guns. 15 and 16 year old children as warriors! If the war still continues to last for a long time, perhaps the babies will be also employed. Total war!!"[10]
Simple: The children are called "Air Force helpers of the Hitler Youth." The children wear army uniforms. They are shown how to fire anti-artillery guns. 15 and 16 year old children as soldiers! If the war continues for a long time, maybe babies will also become soldiers. Total war!
  • "The party uses the lies up to the last breath as a cover-up. Thus it intimidates the political opponents and provides its party comrade with sedatives. It is so unbelievably simple for the current gang to lie to the German people and to lead these fools around by the nose."[11]
Simple: Until their last breath, the Nazi Party uses lies to cover up the truth. They frighten their political opponents, and they quiet down their Party comrades. It is so very simple for this gang of Nazis to lie to the German people, and to lead the German people around by the nose.
  • "We can bear up under everything, if we have only the certainty that the monster Hitler with his insatiable bloodletting and plundering will have committed soon his last shameful deed."[12]
Simple: We can hold up under everything, as long as we are certain Hitler, with his murder and robbery, will have done his last shameful deed.
  • "The craziest of all political systems, the unique dictatorship, found its earned end. History will note for eternity that the German people were not able on their own initiative to shake off the yoke of the National Socialists. The victory of the Americans, English and Russians was a necessary occurrence to disrupt the National Socialists’ delusions and plans for world domination."[13]
Simple: The most insane political system, Adolf Hitler's dictatorship, is over. History will show forever that the German people did not rise up against Hitler, and make themselves free of Nazism. It took the Americans and English and Russians to beat the German army in order to end the Nazis' delusions and to stop their plans to rule the world.
The ten-volume Friedrich Kellner diary has 861 pages, with 676 dated entries and more than 500 newspaper clippings.

Attributed quotes

  • "Gutenberg, your printing press has been violated by this evil book, Mein Kampf!"
Simple: Johann Gutenberg, your printing press has been harmed by this evil book, Mein Kampf!
About the quote: From Kellner's political speeches against the Nazis, 1926 - 1932
  • "I could not fight the Nazis in the present, as they had the power to still my voice, so I decided to fight them in the future."
Simple: I could not fight the Nazis now, as they were too strong for me to speak out, so I decided to fight them [with my diary] in the future.
About the quote: From a conversation with Robert Scott Kellner, grandson and English translator of the diary, 1968.
  • "Every person has the choice between Good and Evil. Choose Good, and stand against those who would choose Evil."[14]
Simple: Everyone can do good things or evil things. Do good things, and challenge those who do evil.
  • "When dictators enslave their own people and seek to impose their anti-democratic ideology upon others, when evil seeks power, men and women of good will must set aside their own differences of opinion and stand together and fight – both those who love peace, and those who hate war."[14]
Simple: When dictators make slaves of their own people and force their ideas upon other people in other nations, people in those other nations must stop arguing among themselves, and they must fight against the dictators.


  1. Friedrich Kellner diary, Sep. 17, 1939.
  2. Friedrich Kellner diary, October 7, 1939.
  3. Friedrich Kellner diary, Oct. 14, 1939.
  4. Friedrich Kellner diary, March 30, 1940.
  5. Friedrich Kellner diary, May 29, 1940.
  6. Friedrich Kellner diary, May 29, 1940.
  7. Friedrich Kellner diary, October 7, 1940.
  8. Friedrich Kellner diary, October 26, 1941.
  9. Friedrich Kellner Diary, Oct 28, 1941
  10. Friedrich Kellner diary, December 14, 1943.
  11. Friedrich Kellner diary, March 26, 1945.
  12. Friedrich Kellner diary, March 28, 1945.
  13. Friedrich Kellner diary, May 1, 1945.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Conversations, 1968.

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