Zamenhof quotes

We call our language international, but actions speak louder than words.

I initiated Esperanto, but the creative rights to it and creative credits for it also belong to the Esperanto community.

The insufficient nature of language can often be a barrier to more free flowing thought.

The international language - just like every national language - possesses a social character and belongs to the community of speakers. Can I enforce exclusive control over Esperanto? Of course not, this would be no less absurd than anyone else claiming to single handedly yield authority over an entire linguistic community.

Patriotism, to me, is a service to all those people with whom I share a homeland, regardless of where they originally come from, their language, religion or social status. I consider it incompatible with patriotism to merely worry about one's own group and to indulge in hatred to people from other places. I believe that patriotism must be coupled not with nationalism, but with internationalism.

There’s only one way to achieve proper peace: once and for all do away with the main cause of wars, the enduring anachronisms of barbaric epochs of antiquity, the domination of one nation over other oppressed peoples.

Let me make it clear from the outset - I belong to the Hebrew culture. All of my ideals, without exception, are influenced by my own Jewish background; the origins of my ideas, how they developed and stubbornly persisted criticism. The entire history of my continual fights - internal and external - it all derives from my Jewishness.

I am not a member of any specific nation, I’m simply a human.

I’d rather you didn’t make a fuss about me. But if you insist, and for some reason you need to mention my nationality. Its in Poland that my parents are buried, where I have spent my working life, and where I intend to continue to live until I die. So you can call me “a son of the Polish country”, but don’t call me “a Pole”. I want to avoid being accused of wrongly accepting the Polish identity. If I adopted it by choice, it would feel like wearing a mask which doesn’t belong to me.

People have dreamed about this for centuries, and its finally come true. People from a wide variety of countries and nations have come together in a small town on the French coast. Usually when foreigners meet, they are unintelligible to each other. But these folk speak to each other as brothers, like members of a single nation! In our meetings, there are no strong or weak nations, nobody is deemed as more or less prestigious than anybody else, we enjoy a peaceful atmosphere in which nobody need feel embarassed or belittled. We feel like members of one nation, even one family. For the first time in human history, such a highly diverse group is able to meet, not as foreigners or competitors, but as brothers. We understand each other, and this is done without anybody forcing their national language onto anybody else. There is often a darkness of misunderstanding and suspicion which divides people. This dynamic has been lifted. Reciprocal displays of affection and handshakes are seen all around. Conducted on a human basis, not a foreign basis. We are conscious of the novelty of all of this, and there is a recognition of the importance that this should continue. This small French town has given us a very warm welcome, however we are not merely French and English, or Russian and Polish - we are human and we are human! Blessed be the day, long may this continue and grow!