Quotes from The Boys from Brazil

Ira Levin ·  312 pages

Rating: (28.8K votes)


“Someday, he thought, I would like to meet a monster who looked like a monster.”
― Ira Levin, quote from The Boys from Brazil


“philosophers have warned us: if we forget the past, we are doomed to repeat it.”
― Ira Levin, quote from The Boys from Brazil


“They were confident and cunning. They weren't mucking around looking for nuclear weapon secret sloppy seconds in America. They could care less about America. They were busy with the whole world domination thing.”
― Ira Levin, quote from The Boys from Brazil


“don’t let me hear you say again ‘Fuck orders’! You’re a corporal who’s been assigned a duty, and if your superiors have chosen not to tell you the reason for it, then they have a reason for that too. Good Christ, you’re an SS man; behave like one! ‘My Honor Is Loyalty.’ Those words were supposed to be engraved on your soul!”
― Ira Levin, quote from The Boys from Brazil


“I say in my talks it takes two things to make it happen again, a new Hitler and social conditions like in the thirties. But that's not true. It takes three things: the Hitler, the conditions, and the people to follow the Hitler.

And don't you think he'd find them?

No, not enough of them. I really think people are better and smarter now, not so much thinking their leaders are God. The television makes a big difference.”
― Ira Levin, quote from The Boys from Brazil



“Liebermann said, “Ninety-four Hitlers,” and shook his head. “No,” he said. “No. It’s not possible.” “Of course it isn’t,” Nürnberger said. “There are ninety-four boys with the same genetic inheritance as Hitler. They could turn out very differently. Most of them probably will.” “Most,” Liebermann said. He nodded at Klaus and at Lena. “Most.” He looked at Nürnberger. “That leaves some,” he said.”
― Ira Levin, quote from The Boys from Brazil


“philosophers have warned us: if we forget the past, we are doomed to repeat”
― Ira Levin, quote from The Boys from Brazil


“No. I’ve been thinking about this for weeks. I say in my talks it takes two things to make it happen again, a new Hitler and social conditions like in the thirties. But that’s not true. It takes three things: the Hitler, the conditions…and the people to follow the Hitler.” “And don’t you think he’d find them?” “No, not enough of them. I really think people are better and smarter now, not so much thinking their leaders are God. The television makes a big difference. And history, knowing…Some he’d find, yes; but no more, I think—I hope—than the pretend-Hitlers we have now, in Germany and South America.”
― Ira Levin, quote from The Boys from Brazil


“Hessen? Dr. Mengele. Everything’s fine, there’s nothing to worry about. Exactly the amateur I expected. I don’t think he even understood German. Send the boys home to practice their signatures; it was just an excitement to round off the evening. No, not till 1977, I’m afraid; I fly back to the compound as soon as we clean up. So go with God, Horst. And say it for me to the others: ‘Go with God.’” He hung up and said, “Heil Hitler.”
― Ira Levin, quote from The Boys from Brazil


“now I want something better than vengeance, and something almost as hard to get.” He told it to the young woman in the second row: “I want remembrance.” He told it to all of them: “Remembrance. It’s hard to get because life goes on; every year we have new horrors—a Vietnam, terrorist activities in the Middle East and Ireland, assassinations”—(ninety-four sixty-five-year-old men?)—“and every year,” he drove himself on, “the horror of horrors, the Holocaust, becomes farther away, a little less horrible. But philosophers have warned us: if we forget the past, we are doomed to repeat it.”
― Ira Levin, quote from The Boys from Brazil



“Ninety-four men have to die on or near certain dates in the next two and a half years,” he said, reading. “Sixteen of them are in West Germany, fourteen in Sweden, thirteen in England, twelve in the United States, ten in Norway, nine in Austria, eight in Holland, and six each in Denmark and Canada. Total, ninety-four. The first is to die on or near October sixteenth; the last, on or near the twenty-third of April, 1977.” He sat back and looked at the men again. “Why must these men die? And why on or near their particular dates?” He shook his head. “Not now; later you can be told that. But this I can tell you now: their deaths are the final step in an operation”
― Ira Levin, quote from The Boys from Brazil


“Some day, he thought, I would like to meet a monster who LOOKS like a monster.”
― Ira Levin, quote from The Boys from Brazil


About the author

Ira Levin
Born place: in The Bronx, New York City, New York, The United States
Born date August 27, 1929
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