Josef StalinJosef Stalin, (1879-1953) Communist leader of the USSR

Josef Stalin Quote

“One death is a tragedy, but a million deaths are a statistic.”

Josef StalinJosef Stalin
~ Josef Stalin


Ratings and Comments

E Archer, NYC

We rate these quotes easily -- the truth is harder to bear. When I think of the millions who have died, I am humbled beyond belief.

Me, Augusta, GA

Such truth has rarely been spoken so simply. If I may, permit me add that this is a great example of a worthy message, despite how one may feel about the messenger.

me, Augusta, GA

Oops, forgot to rate it.

Reb, Jerusalem

Sad, but true, if you add the word perceived.

warren, olathe

A window to Stalin's soul. He really didn't mean that one death was a tragedy, unless he was thinking about being in a situation where he could cause but only one death. Socialism kills. Hard to rate. Revealing, but he really only meant the second half of it. Socialism has no compassion or respect for human life.

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Anonymous    10/11/07

And he created those "statistics" after disarming the population. Never give up your guns.

Anonymous, Miami Shores, Fl

This diseased parasite from Georgia certainly did not believe that one death is a tragedy. He did believe, however, in numbers.

Mike, Norwalk

Not shooting the messenger, One death is a tragedy (even if Stalin didn't believe so) and the greater the tragedy the more quotable the statistic.

Ken, Allyn, WA

Socialism has killed more people than all of the crazed religious lunatics in history. If we're going to start banning things, that's where I'd start.

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RobertSRQ    10/12/07

Stalin killed over 20 million so he knew what he was talking about - Ken and Warren you really must learn the difference between socialism and communism the US is more aligned to communism than socialism - without socialism the people of America would have started a war - we already have socialism in the US and if we are to succeed we are likely to get more of it - so I suggest you read up on the origin of Socialism. Socialism and Liberalism are the two main factors that keep the cogs turning without the need for war.

viktoriya t, new york

he's just terrible...... i wonder what would he say if he was one of the million.

Vic, Winnipeg, MB

Does anyone know where I can find the source of this quote? (Not that I doubt that Stalin would say it given how many members of my own family he murdered.)

Alex, UK
  • Reply
Alex, UK Vic, Winnipeg, MB 10/20/20

How many members of your family did Stalin personally murder?

A, Sudbury

He never said that, that is why there is no source to that quote.


It's not Stalin's phrase. It's from Remarque 's novel "Im Westen nichts Neues". And it actually sounds this way: "But, it seems, it's always this way - a death of one man is a death, a death of two million people - simply statistic". And I dont think he was so horrible.

B, Cambridge

"A" is right, this quote is always misattributed to Stalin, he never actually said it it's just a bit of cold war propaganda that's still floating around.

  • Reply
    Truth    12/23/09


    Samurai, Kyoto

    I think that that one person that he meant whose death is a tragedy is his own. He didn't care about the other people- not even his own people. However, there is a simple truth to the quote that some people think of many massacres as just statistics of history, but the death of their loved ones as catastrophes.

    Evan Tanner

    I think that this is completely true and made sense for him. I mean how could he get away from the guilt from killing that many people if he didn't believe that it was just a statistic. This is the mindset for alot of Americans today. People don't care about the millions of children dying a year, but a car accident where one 5 year old dies is all over the news.

    J Carlton, Calgary

    Whether or not the quote is correctly attributed, it seems to suit Stalin's sense of reasoning. After all he did murder 20 million unarmed Ukranians did he not? And a couple of hundred thousand Poles... A couple of hundred thousand more sent to the Gulags. Stalin alone gives us at least 20 million reasons to own a gun. Anonymous doesn't think he was so horrible though...go figure!

    Byron, Fort Collins

    My late, beloved mother-in-law was born in the Ukraine. When she was a little girl, her family and she fled Stalin. He was THE WORST. J Carlton is right, besides my gun, I wouldn't mind having some land mines and anti-aircraft guns as well, with the way our government is headed.

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    KIMO, USA    11/5/11

    Not once in yeas has the editor eer published a quote not checked, assome of us have submitted quoes and ALWaYS been made to supplythe origion. he takes great pride in the actuacy of the quotes. I highly doubt anyone here, takes as much time as he. In defense of the editors honor, and his honesty, and his time.

    warren, olathe

    Of course Stalin was not so horrible. After all he did what he did in the true spirit of socialism. That automatically makes it OK. What he and Hitler did is the inevitable result of unchecked socialism. We are headed there even though the majority of people in this country are against it. We are having it forced on us for our own good. The death and destruction that will eventually occur, if we do not stop it, will also be for our own good. Socialism kills. Always. Don't ever forget that. Once the state has that kind of power the will of the people (democratic system or not) becomes irrelevant. I don't care if he said it, he meant it.

    warren, olathe

    By the way he was no.2 Mao Zedong no. 1 and Hitler no. 3 in the political murder department. Hitler killed about 5 mil. Jews and 4 million christian and other "undesirables". Stalin killed more Jews than Hitler but some how he wasn't so bad. It is taught in some classrooms by learned professors that Stalin did what he had to to bring industrialism to Russia and therefore it was beneficial in the end. While, of course, Occupy Wall Street is full of his disciples protesting the U.S. method of promoting industrialism. They will eventually start to become more and more violent to demonstrate the true nature of socialism, unless, hopefully, winter sends them all home.

    Alex, UK
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    Alex, UK warren, olathe 10/20/20

    "By the way he was no.2 Mao Zedong no. 1 and Hitler no. 3 in the political murder department. Hitler killed about 5 mil. Jews and 4 million christian and other "undesirables". Stalin killed more Jews than Hitler" proof?

    navalair59, Pensacola

    Whether he said it or not I cannot absolutely confirm, BUT he was responsible for the death of somewhere around 20 million of his own people and there were idiots in this country pre WWII that thought he was a great guy and I do believe some of his Communist believers are now in the school system and our government. No I'm not Joe McCarthey,but I am an American that reads history, served my country and am not a blind left wing liberal .

    Alex, UK
    • Reply
    Alex, UK navalair59, Pensacola 10/20/20

    "BUT he was responsible for the death of somewhere around 20 million of his own people" source?


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