This is Part Four of a dialogue taken from “All Quiet on the Western Front”. A group of German soldier discuss their plight:
“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.”
“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.”
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:
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:
This is Part Three of a dialogue taken from the film “All Quiet on the Western Front”:
A group of German soldiers discuss their plight:
“Somebody must have wanted the war. Maybe it was the English. No, I don’t want to shoot any Englishman. I never saw one ’til I came here. And I suppose most of them never saw a German ’til “they” came here. No, I’m sure “they” weren’t asked about it.”
“Well, the war must be doing somebody some good.”
“I think maybe the Kaiser wanted a war.”
“I don’t see that. The Kaiser’s got everything he needs.”
“Well, he never had a war before. Every full-grown emperor needs one war to make him famous. Why, that’s history.”
“Yeah, generals, too. They need war.”
And Prime Ministers and even Presidents come to that. They think it will make them look good when somebody else takes the risks on their behalf.
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.