This is Part Two of a dialogue taken from “All Quiet on the Western Front”:
A group of German soldiers in World War One discuss their plight:
“Well. how do they start a war?”
“Well, stupid, one people offends another.”
“Oh, well, if that’s it, I shouldn’t be here at all. I don’t feel offended.”
“It don’t apply to tramps like you.”
“Good. Then I could be goin’ home right away.”
“Ah, you just try it.”
“Yeah. You wanna get shot?”
“Me and the Kaiser felt just alike about this war. We didn’t either of us want a war, so I’m going home. He’s there already”
Would it were so simple:
You can see why Hitler’s Nazi Party sabotaged showings of this film in 1930s Germany. It would have brought home the grim reality to many of those willing to die for the Führer at the first glorious opportunity.
15 responses to “All Quiet on the Western Front (2)”
Reblogged this on Lest We Forget and commented:
Thanks again, Pierre!
Probably the saddest of all wars. One that every one knew was inevitable but no one knew how to prevent!
Yes, it was, thanks to the fact that all of our generals were upper class and kept trying the same stupid tactics over and over again in the vain hope that they might one day work. The Canadians had nowhere near the losses because their supremo was an ordinary bloke from a tiny farm and he had a brain in his head. You can read about Arthur Currie in Wikipedia. It is a real eye opener.
Thanks, I’ll do that!
You summed the war up in one sentence. Upper class that kept the same tactics in the hope that one day they’ll work. And they did try; day after day after day and they didn’t work.
Absolutely. My Grandad said that he hated Haig and so did all the others. They saw him as a butcher, miles behind the lines, who cared little for men’s lives.
I’ve never seen the film, John, but i’m a fan of the book
It’s well worth it, Derrick, if you have the chance. I seem to remember that it won one of the very first Oscars.
I think this film snippet was revealing. I hope that we will never have to experience this again. I have hope that the checks and balances will keep Trump in (or under) control.
I’m sure they will have. Big business needs calm conditions to make a huge profit, so I’m sure that’s what we’ll get.
Wars and and all types of violence is always a part of human life, unfortunately. That must be a very good movie, I hope i can get the book. With regards, Lakshmi
Thanks a lot for your interest, Lakshmi. I hope you manage to find the book or even the DVD. They are both very moving.
My paternal grandfather, originally from Norfolk, joined the Volunteer Reserve in 1911. When war was declared in 1914 he was one of the first to go to Flanders. He fought first around Ypres and then in northern France with the Sherwood Foresters. His two brothers, Arthur – who had emigrated to Canada in 1910 – and William – who had joined the Royal Marines in about 1907 – both saw action. Arthur was conscripted in to the Canadian Army and was stationed also in northern France. My grandfather’s period of engagement came to an end five weeks before the Battle of the Somme in 1916. He was offered a commission but had the good sense to decline it and return home. His brother Arthur survived, as did William, the latter invalided out due to his being wounded. Had my grandfather not declined the offer of a commission then I doubt I would be here now.
As far as I can see, the whole thing was a tragic waste of the lives of good men. Around a million of them from the UK and even more from France and Germany. Southern France is still depopulated because of WW1 and so are parts of Canada, especially Newfoundland. I try quite hard to give the war some value but I can’t manage it. I fully support that idea though of having leaders wear just their underpants and fight each other, Saddam Hussein v Tony Bliar would draw a crowd as would Trump v Putin. Finally, Chris, thanks a lot for your input. It is much appreciated.