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All Quiet on the Western Front

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Erich Maria Remarque is one of the most famous German authors from the twentieth century. He was born in Osnabrück, on June 22, 1898 and he died in Locarno, Switzerland, on September 25, 1970.

Remarque was drafter into the German army at the age of 18 to fight World War 1. Not long after he was badly wounded. Ten years after the war ended, he published a novel about the experiences of ordinary German soldiers during the war, Im Westen Nichts Neues, a year later the novel was translated into English as All Quiet on the Western Front. This dismally realistic novel of a soldier’s experiences stripped the classic romanticism from war stories. The novel immediately became an international, significantly acclaimed success. In 1930 an American film based on the book was released.

Remarque's novels have been translated in more than fifty languages. Most of Remarque’s novels are interrelated with his background and German history and involve political and social upheaval in Europe during World War I and II. His literary creations involved preservation of human dignity during times of terror and oppression.  Several of his novels were adapted to film. Nevertheless, All Quiet on the Western Front stays as his masterpiece; none of his other novels even comes close to its popularity.

During Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in the early 1930s, the extremely nationalistic Nazi’s attacked the novel All Quiet on the Western Front and its author as unpatriotic. In fear of retribution he did not resist their criticism, although in 1931 he published the sequel The Road Back. This novel provoked the Nazi party and  Remarque fled to Switzerland in 1931. Then emigrated to the U.S.A. in 1939 with his first wife, Jutta Zambona. After he divorced Jutta he married a Hollywood actress Paulette Goddard in 1958, these two stayed married until his death in 1970. In 1948 he returned to Switzerland, he stayed there until his death at the age of 72 buried in the Ronco cemitary in Ronco, Ticino Switzerland.

 

 

Well-known novels:

  • Im Westen nichts Neues (1929)
  • Der Weg zurück (1931)
  • Drei Kameraden (1937)
  • Liebe deinen Nächsten (1941)
  • Arc de Triomphe (1946)
  • Der Funke Leben (1952)
  • Zeit zu leben und Zeit zu sterben (1954)
  • Der schwarze Obelisk (1956)
  • Der Himmel kennt keine Günstlinge (1961)
  • Die Nacht von Lissabon (1963)
  • Schatten im Paradies (1971)

English Versions: