Whittaker Chambers Quotes (28 Quotes)


    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.

    A man is not primarily a witness against something. That is only incidental to the fact that he is a witness for something.


    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.



    The simple fact is that when I took up my little sling and aimed at Communism, I also hit something else. What I hit was the forces of that great socialist revolution, which, in the name of liberalism, spasmodically, incompletely, somewhat formlessly, always in the same direction, has been inching its ice cap over the nation for two decades. ...Though I knew it existed, I still had no adequate idea of its extent, the depth of its penetration or the fierce vindictiveness of its revolutionary temper, which is a reflex of it struggle to keep and advance its political power.

    At issue was the question whether, in the desperately divided society, there still remained the will to recognize the issues in time to offset the immense rally of public power to distort and pervert the facts.

    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.

    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.

    I do not know any way to explain why God's grace touches a man who seems unworthy of it.

    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.



    Communism in our time can no more be considered apart from the crisis clan a fever can be acted upon apart from an infected body.

    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.

    The chief fruit of the First World War was the Russian Revolution and the rise of Communism as a national power.

    Every sincere break with Communism is a religious experience, though the Communists fail to identify its true nature, though he fail to go to the end of the experience. His break is the political expression of the perpetual need of the soul whose first faint stirring he has felt within him, years, months or days before he breaks. A Communist breaks because he must choose at last between irreconcilable opposites God or Man, Soul or Mind, Freedom or Communism.

    The rub is that the pursuit of happiness, as an end in itself, tends automatically, and widely, to be replaced by the pursuit of pleasure with a consequent general softening of the fibers of will, intelligence, spirit.

    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.


    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.

    That is why this terrible book is also a book of hope For it is about the struggle of the human soul - of more than one human soul.

    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.

    Human societies, like human beings, live by faith and die when faith dies.

    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.


    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.

    The chief fruit of the Second World War was our arrival at the next to the last step of the crisis with the rise of Communism as a world power.


    More Whittaker Chambers Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Man - Communism & Marxism - Society & Civilization - Life - Facts - Power - Pleasure - World - Time - Soul - Happiness - Politics - Intelligence - Pain - Children - Liberty & Freedom - Belief & Faith - War & Peace - Memory - View All Whittaker Chambers Quotations

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