All Quiet on the Western Front, first American editionFirst American edition

All Quiet on the Western Front

Publication details ▽ Publication details △

First publication
1929

Literature form(s)
Novel

Genres
Literary

Language
German

Author's country
Germany

Length
Approx. 67,000 words

All Quiet on the Western Front

THE NOVEL | THE TEXT| THE MOVIES

Notable lines

Epigraph

This book is to be neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped shells, were destroyed by the war.

First lines

We are at rest five miles behind the front. Yesterday we were relieved, and now our bellies are full of beef and haricot beans. We are satisfied and at peace. Each man has another mess-tin full for the evening; and, what is more, there is a double ration of sausage and bread. That puts a man in fine trim. We have not had such luck as this for a long time.

Great lines

We march up, moody or good-tempered soldiers — we reach the zone where the front begins and become on the instant human animals.

Iron Youth! Youth! We are none of us more than twenty years old. But young? Youth? That is long ago. We are old folk.

"When it comes to dying for your country, it's better not to die at all."

Why do they never tell us that you are poor devils like us, that your mothers are just as anxious as ours, and that we have the same fear of death, and the same dying and the same agony—Forgive me, comrade; how could you be my enemy?

You may turn into an archangel, a fool, or a criminal—no one will see it. But when a button is missing—everyone sees that.

Last lines

He fell in October 1918, on a day that was so quiet and still on the whole front, that the army report confined itself to the single sentence: All quiet on the Western Front. He had fallen forward and lay on the earth as though sleeping. Turning him over one saw that he could not have suffered long; his face had an expression of calm, as though almost glad the end had come.

THE NOVEL | THE TEXT| THE MOVIES