Nikita Khrushchev

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The happiest people are those who think the most interesting thoughts. Those who decide to use leisure as a means of mental development, who love good music, good books, good pictures, good company, good conversation, are the happiest people in the world. And they are not only happy in themselves, they are the cause of happiness in others.
William Lyon Phelps
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Nikita Khrushchev

Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchyov (17 April 189411 September 1971) was the leader of the Soviet Union after the death of Joseph Stalin. He was First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964 and Chairman of the Council of Ministers from 1958 to 1964.


  • Yes, today we have genuine Russian weather. Yesterday we had Swedish weather. I can't understand why your weather is so terrible. Maybe it is because you are immediate neighbours of NATO.
    • At a Swedish-Soviet summit which began on March 30, 1956, in Moscow. The stenographed discussion was later published by the Swedish quoted in Raoul Wallenberg (1985) by Eric Sjöquist, p. 119 ISBN 9153650875
  • I am very glad to hear this, since I come from the Ukraine. From now on I can sleep peacefully. I will immediately telegraph my daughter in Kiev.
    • Khrushchev's reply when the Swedish prime minister Erlander assured him that Sweden had no intention of repeating the 1709 Battle of Poltava in eastern Ukraine between Russia and Sweden. From a Swedish-Soviet summit which began on March 30, 1956, in Moscow, as quoted in Raoul Wallenberg (1985) by Eric Sjöquist, p. 125 ISBN 9153650875
  • If Adenauer were here with us in the sauna, we could see for ourselves that Germany is and will remain divided but also that Germany never will rise again.
    • Said during a late night visit to a sauna with Finland's president Kekkonen in June 1957. Translated from Våldets århundrade (2001) by Max Jakobson, p. 220 ISBN 9174866389
  • If you start throwing hedgehogs under me, I shall throw a couple of porcupines under you.
    • As quoted in The New York Times (7 November 1963)
  • Comrades! We must abolish the cult of the individual decisively, once and for all.
    • At the 20th Congress of the Communist Party during his secret report. (24 February 1956)
  • My arms are up to the elbows in blood. That is the most terrible thing that lies in my soul.
    • Told to Soviet playwright Nikolay Shatrov, as quoted in William Taubman, Khrushchev: The Man and His Era (New York: W.W. Norton, 2002)


[citation needed]

  • Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you!
  • Don't you worry about the foreign minister. The foreign minister will do anything I tell him. If I say: "take down your trousers and sit with your bare bottom on a block of ice", Gromyko will do so until further notice.
  • It will keep the wolf out.
    • Referring to the Berlin Wall, the wolf meaning the West.
  • He who cannot eat horsemeat need not do so. Let him eat pork. But he who cannot eat pork, let him eat horsemeat. It’s simply a question of taste.
  • Politicians are the same all over: they promise to build a bridge even where there is no river.
  • If one cannot catch a bird of paradise, better take a wet hen.
  • When you are skinning your customers you should leave some skin on to grow again so that you can skin them again.
  • They talk about who won and who lost. Human reason won. Mankind won.
  • If you live among wolves you have to act like a wolf.
  • Bombs do not choose. They will hit everything. -BOOM!-
  • Call it what you will, incentives are what get people to work harder.
  • Do you think when two representatives holding diametrically opposing views get together and shake hands, the contradictions between our systems will simply melt away? What kind of a daydream is that?
  • I once said, "We will bury you," and I got into trouble with it. Of course we will not bury you with a shovel. Your own working class will bury you.
  • We say the name of God, but that is only out of habit.
  • They pay little attention to what we say and prefer to read tea leaves.
  • The more bombers, the less room for doves of peace.
  • Support by United States rulers is rather in the nature of the support that the rope gives to a hanged man.
  • Revolutions are the locomotives of history.
  • Life is short. Live it up.
  • In a fight you don't stop to choose your cudgels.
  • If you live among dogs, keep a stick. After all, this is what a hound has teeth for ― to bite when he feels like it!
  • The press is our chief ideological weapon.
  • All the sparrows on the rooftops are crying about the fact that the most imperialist nation that is supporting the colonial regime in the colonies is the United States of America.
  • I will die...people will place my actions on a balance. On one side the bad, on the other, the kind...and the kind will outweigh.
  • I worked in a factory owned by Germans, at coal pits owned by Frenchmen, and at a chemical plant owned by Belgians. There I discovered something about capitalists. They are all alike, whatever the nationality. All they wanted from me was the most work for the least money that kept me alive. So I became a Communist.
  • If I do not know everything, then I would say that you know nothing about communism; nothing except fear of it.
  • Historians are the most powerful and dangerous members of any society. They must be watched carefully... They can spoil everything.
  • We must select a smaller number of standard designs .. and conduct our mass building programs using only these designs over the course of, say, five years .. and if no better designs turn up, then continue in the same way for the next five years.
  • We and you ought not pull on the ends of a rope in which you have tied the knots of war. Because the more the two of us pull the tighter the knot will be tied. And then it will be necessary to cut that knot, and what that would mean is not for me to explain to you. I have participated in two wars and know that war ends when it has rolled through cities and villages, everywhere sowing death and destruction. For such is the logic of war. If people do not display wisdom they will clash like blind moles and then mutual annihilation will commence.
  • Kennedy: We have enough missiles to blow you [USSR] up thirty times over. Khrushchev: We have enough to blow you up only once, but that will be enough for us.
  • Aircraft carriers, of course are the second most effective weapon in a modern navy (after submarines). I’ll admit I felt a nagging desire to have some in our own navy but we couldn’t afford to build them. They were simply beyond our means.
  • We'll kick you so hard you won't remember your own name.
  • The United States now sleeps under a Soviet moon.
    • Commenting on Sputnik 1, Earth's first artificial satellite
  • The Grape-fruit satellite.
    • Commenting on the Vanguard program
  • A mere flea hop.
    • Commenting on Alan Shepard's Freedom 7 space flight which travelled only 187 km into space, and returned while Yuri Gagarin was sent up to 315 km and went into orbit.
  • We have beaten you to the moon, but you have beaten us in sausage making.
    • In a meatpacking plant in Iowa referring the Sputnik satellite which had just started beeping over Earth.


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