All Quiet on the Western Front (4)

This is Part Four of a dialogue taken from “All Quiet on the Western Front”. A group of German soldier discuss their plight:

All-Quiet-hands

“I’ll tell you how it should all be done.
Whenever there’s a big war comin’ on, you should rope off a big field…”

“And sell tickets.”

“Yeah.”

all_quiet_ghosts

“And on the big day, you should take all the kings and their cabinets and their generals, put ’em in the centre dressed in their underpants, and let ’em fight it out with clubs. The best country wins.”

P1090550

Unfortunately, only one war has ever been carried out like that. It was the Israelites and the Philistines in the Old Testament when one side chose a champion and so did the other:

full_davidgoliath

It would certainly be something to think about, especially where wars are just dragging on in pointless fashion as the First World War and the now long forgotten Iran-Iraq War did.  Eight years and not too far short of a million casualties.

The film, though, comes to a famous end. The young hero, the last of his class to remain alive, is killed by a sniper as he reaches forward to touch a butterfly:

butterfly

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16 Comments

Filed under Criminology, History

16 responses to “All Quiet on the Western Front (4)

  1. I haven’t seen the film but I always made it compulsory reading for my History classes. A very timely post, John.

    • Thanks very much for your kind words. At the very least, I would be happy if we never ever again saw a European War with Australians, Canadians and New Zealanders dragged into it

  2. Pierre Lagacé

    I think I saw that last scene…

    • It is a very famous one. My only gripe would be that the butterfly appears to be a Monarch which, of course, would not be seen in Europe. But that’s just nit picking, and doesn’t detract from a wonderful film and a marvellous ending.

  3. Pierre Lagacé

    Reblogged this on Lest We Forget and commented:
    All Quiet on the Western Front… Part Four

  4. “And on the big day, you should take all the kings and their cabinets and their generals, put ’em in the centre dressed in their underpants, and let ’em fight it out with clubs. The best country wins.”
    ~ John, that would be the day that our endless wars come to a halt.

  5. I’ll bet if we were putting the ‘leaders” into the ring to slug it out, all wars would immediately stop! All very brave when someone else is doing the fighting!

  6. Thank you John for sharing these posts, has been an interesting read and has reminded me that nationalism is an ugly thing. I’ve not seen the film, but you’ve inspired me to give it a try.

  7. Oh, John, these posts are so hard for me to read. I’m covered in goosebumps and have tears in my eyes. When will man ever ever ever realize war is NOT the answer?

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