Seeing as I have not posted in a while, I am going to start a weekly series known as “Quote of the Week”, where I will present four quotes, two authentic, two non-authentic as a way to hopefully raise interest, along with another weekly series I am going to start writing later this week titled “My Thoughts on X”.
The reason for the two non-authentic ones are because over my years of studying, I have come across a variety of false quotes, either misattributed to someone or flatly made up. This irks me very much, as it can discredit someone’s ability to properly cite sources, and just leads people into a lie. That is why I strive for credibility and cite everything to a T. Without further rant, here are the quotes that I found this week that I thought I would share.
“Here the sun is always late,
the moon tardy,
and youth lingers to a sprawl.
There the interweave of the sun and wind
in open sky.
Here countless flowers lose their way in endless ends,
and die puzzled flowers.
There the longed-for rainfall
modest on thirsty lips.”
“[Agis] said that the Spartans did not ask “how many are the enemy,” but “where are they?””
: Here and There: In Exile. A poem from “We Are Human Too: Poems on the Palestinian Condition” by Reja-e Busailah, Page 17
: Agis II as quoted in Plutarch’s Sayings of Spartans within the Apophthegmata Laconica, Volume 3.
Misattributed Quote #1
I found this one while browsing the subreddit known as “The Donald”, a pro-Donald Trump subreddit. Here is the quote in full.
“In Russia live Russians. Any minority, from anywhere, if it wants to live in Russia, to work and eat in Russia, should speak Russian, and should respect the Russian laws. If they prefer Sharia Law, and live the life of Muslims then we advise them to go to those places where that’s the state law. Russia does not need Muslim minorities. Minorities need Russia, and we will not grant them special privileges, or try to change our laws to fit their desires, no matter how loud they yell ‘discrimination’. We will not tolerate disrespect of our Russian culture. We had better learn from the suicides of America, England, Holland and France, if we are to survive as a nation. The Muslims are taking over those countries and they will not take over Russia. The Russian customs and traditions are not compatible with the lack of culture or the primitive ways of Sharia Law and Muslims. When this honorable legislative body thinks of creating new laws, it should have in mind the Russian national interest first, observing that the Muslim minorities are not Russians.”
An interesting quote to be sure, but there’s just one problem: it doesn’t exist. Some say the speech was given on August 4th, 2013, others say it was given on February 4th, 2013. First off, there was no statements given by Putin on August 4th, 2013, per the Kremlin’s Presidential Speeches and Transcripts section. Second, Putin did indeed make two statements on February 4th, 2013, but none of the included this alleged quote. The website Hoax-Slayer questioned the authenticity of the speech, noting that it “could find no legitimate news reports about a Putin speech like the one described. It seems quite unlikely that at least a few political journalists would not have written about such a speech. Or that the minorities at the receiving end of the alleged speech would not have publicly reacted to it.”
The only thing remotely similar to what is said in the alleged speech was at a meeting with the Russian Board of the Federal Migration Service on January 26th, 2012, and even then, he was generalizing the issue as there was no mention of Sharia law, Islam, or Muslims anywhere in the speech as the alleged quote claims.
“We must create the conditions for immigrants to normally integrate into our society, learn Russian and, of course, respect our culture and traditions and abide by Russian law. In this regard, I believe that the decision to make learning the Russian language compulsory and administer exams is well grounded. To do so, we will need to carry out major organisational work and introduce corresponding legislative amendments.”
Misattributed Quote #2
This one was one that some friends mentioned to me the other day. According to them, Stalin said that (I’m paraphrasing here) “Give us your children from birth to 7 [years old] and we will have them.” First off, this is a misquote of a misquote, of which I have only seen Ben Carson repeat this, (which he says its 3 years, not 7) at the 1:07 mark in the video. shown in this footnote.  Nonetheless, this quote is indeed not authentic. Similar quotes have been given to Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Lenin, but they too are false.
After searching through 14 volumes of Stalin’s works, nothing comes up, not even the phrase “give us your children” in any way.
As Boller and George wrote in their book “They Never Said It”: “The remark about children, with appropriate adaptations of course, has been attributed to Adolf Hitler as well as to Lenin, and to Catholic Church leaders as well. But there is no evidence that any of them made the statement, and its provenance remains uncertain.”
Nonetheless, I will concede that Stalin mentioned something somewhat similar, but only ever so slightly. In Volume 8 of his collected works, on pages 314 and 315, Stalin discusses point 8 of Friedrich Engels’s work of “The Principles of Communism” as part of a broader discussion titled “Reply to the discussion of the report on “The Social-Democratic deviation in our party””, published on November 3, 1926.
In that work, he quotes point 8 of Engels’ work (“Education of all children, from the moment they can dispense with their mothers’ care, in national institutions and at the cost of the nation.”) and says the following: “This we are accomplishing, but are still very far from having accomplished, since, owing to the ruinous effects of war and intervention, we are not yet in a position to place the education of all the children in the country under the care of the state.”
Thus, yes, he did want to state to control the education of a child, so the underlying intent and message of the quote is in there, but the “Give us your children from birth to 7 [years old] and we will have them” quote is nonetheless fake.