As you enter the exhibits at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, you see a quote from Dante’s famous Inferno. This is what it says: “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.The quotation does appear on artwork at the museum:
But the line does not come from Dante. Rather, it is JFK's very loose paraphrase of Dante.
Respectfully Quoted explains:
This remark may have been inspired by the passage from Dante Alighieri’s La Comedia Divina, trans. Geoffrey L. Bickersteth, “Inferno,” canto 3, lines 35–42 (1972): by those disbodied wretches who were loth when living, to be either blamed or praised.… … … … … …Fear to lose beauty caused the heavens to expel these caitiffs; nor, lest to the damned they then gave cause to boast, receives them the deep hell.What's more, Dante depicts the 9th circle of Hell as cold, not hot.