Make your own free website on
All quiet on the western front


Literary Link
Character Analysis
World War 1
Critical thinking questions
Works Cited


Erich Maria Remarque was born on June 22, 1898 in Osnabrüumlck, Germany. Remarque began his studies at the University of Münster, and was drafted into the German army at the age of 18 and was wounded several times. After the war he worked as a teacher, racing-car driver and as a sportswriter while working on his novel.

He began a career as a teacher and writer, but his work was not well received. His first novel was such an embarrassment that he changed the spelling of his last name from Remark to Remarque. In 1929, he published All Quiet on the Western Front, which was an effort to rid him of the depression that his war experiences gave him. It became one of the highest-selling books in Europe.

The events of All Quiet on the Western Front are those in the daily routine of soldiers who seem to have no past or future apart from their life in the trenches. At the age of 18, while at teacher's college, he was drafted to fight in World War I. He was trained and placed in a battalion. Unlike his character Paul, he was frequently granted leave to care for his dying mother. While a solider, he fought bravely, but became extremely unsatisfied with the war when a friend he had rescued died in the hospital from grenade splinters in his head that no one had noticed. Erich spent some time in the hospital himself, and then more had training. His mother died while he was in the hospital. In a tribute to her, he replaced his middle name, Paul, with hers, Maria. By the war's end, he had become a strong opponent of back-line patriots who did not understand the evils of war, and frequently came into conflict with leaders in his town about the war's outcome. (Fawcett)

All Quiet on the Western Front, was banned from the German government. Erich was forced was persecuted by the Nazis and then forced into exile, first in Switzerland, and then America, where he became friends with famous actors, actresses, and writers, including Charlie Chaplin and Ernest Hemingway. He wrote several more books over the next few years. He died in Switzerland in 1970. (Fawcett)





Erich Maria Remarque