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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

AUTHOR: Adlai Ewing Stevenson (1900–65)
QUOTATION: The great German poet, Goethe, who also lived through a crisis of freedom, said to his generation: “What you have inherited from your fathers, earn over again for yourselves or it will not be yours.” We inherited freedom. We seem unaware that freedom has to be remade and re-earned in each generation of man.
ATTRIBUTION: ADLAI E. STEVENSON, “Politics and Morality,” Saturday Review, February 7, 1959, p. 12.

He quoted Goethe’s Faust, act I, scene i, “Was du ererbt von deinen Vätern hast, / Erwirb es, um es zu besitzen.” In Randall Jarrell’s translation, “That which you inherit from your fathers / You must earn in order to possess.”—Goethe’s Faust, p. 35 (1976).
SUBJECTS: Freedom—defense of