Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 4

Davis 1 Tony Davis English II Honors B Mrs.

Walker January 26, 2010

All Quiet on the Western Front Essay


Adolf Hitler, the most powerful dictator in the history of the world, had fear of a single novel he believed could collapse a plan to strengthen Germany and take over the world. All Quiet on the Western Front describes the experiences of a group of young men who fought in the German Army during World War One. Of course Germany lost World War One and had harsh surrender conditions under the Treaty of Versailles, specifically the 231 Clause. Germany could not build up its military, lost colonies and territory, had to pay reparations, and worst of all got the entire blame for World War One. Hitler knew that to achieve his goal of taking over the world, as outlined in Mien Kampf, he had to enable people to have faith in Germany and have the nationalism they did prior to World War One. Adolf Hitler banned All Quiet on the Western Front in Germany in order for his plan of strengthening Germany and taking over the world to succeed; All Quiet on the Western Front showed weakness of Germany and bad conditions of war that would make German soldiers less confident and less willing to fight and make German citizens less supportive of a war. Although All Quiet on the Western Front shows bravery of a group of young German soldiers, the novel also shows the horror of trench warfare and the terrible conditions of war. The conditions of war described in All Quiet on the Western Front made Hitler afraid that men would be deterred from wanting to fight for Germany or that

Davis 2 German men would be less confident when they went to war so they would not be useful soldiers. Hitler had to be a master of propaganda in order to shield the German people from the memories of the horrific and embarrassing endeavors of World War One, so he banned novels such as All Quiet on the Western Front and supported newspapers and novels that showed German nationalism and strength. The descriptive scenes in All Quiet on the Western Front were graphic enough for Hitler to believe that German men would be less willing to fight for Germany if they read the novel. Perhaps the most descriptive scene of trench warfare was the bombardment of the abnormally-sized rats that abducted and devoured the little food the soldiers had to eat. We must look out for our bread. The rats have become much more numerous lately because the trenches are longer in good conditionThe rats here are particularly repulsive, they are so fat---the kind we all call corpse-rats. They have shocking, evil, naked faces, and it is nauseating to see their long, nude tailsIn the adjoining sector they attacked two large cats and a dog, bit them to death and devoured them (Remarque 46). This description of the rats in trenches and the explicit imagery used by Remarque would easily make a German man pondering the option of joining the military decide to stay home where there were no dog-eating rats and would make soldiers who were going to fight have more fear, which is bad because to be an exemplary soldier fear must not be shown and the sense of nationalism must be carried to the degree that even if death would result it is honorable and sweet to die for ones country. Hitler did not want the German soldiers under his command to see the weakness of the German soldiers that fought in World War One. Our lines are falling back. There are too many fresh English and American regiments over there. Theres too much corned beef and white wheaten bread. Too many new guns. Too many aeroplanes. We are emancipated and

Davis 3 starved. Our food is bad and mixed up with so much substitute stuff that it makes us ill (Remarque 125). The weakness of the German soldiers shown in All Quiet on the Western Front was a major contributing factor for Hitler banning the novel. Although Hitlers main concern regarding All Quiet on the Western Front was the lowering of the moral of the soldiers because of the terrible conditions of war described in the novel, he also thought it was necessary to ban the novel because he thought it would decrease the nationalism of German citizens. All Quiet on the Western Front recalled World War One and although it does not directly mention the Treaty of Versailles or the 231 Clause, Hitler knew that if citizens were exposed to the novel they would be reminded of the humiliating defeat Germany suffered in World War One and the 231 Clause that crippled Germanys military and economy and blamed the entire war on Germany. Hitler knew that a feeling of German nationalism by all German people was vital in order to fulfill his plan of making Germany extremely powerful and taking over the world. Hitler also knew that he needed the support for the war of all German people in order to fulfill his plan and that the conditions described in the novel would make the German people less likely to support a war. Hitler banned All Quiet on the Western Front because he knew he needed the support of the German people to achieve his goal of taking over the world. Even though All Quiet on the Western Front showed bravery of a group of young German soldiers, the novel also showed the horror of trench warfare and the terrible conditions of war. Hitler not only knew that he had to ban the novel in order to ensure that the soldiers and German men would be willing to fight, but knew he had to ban the novel in order to get the German people on his side and gain their support. Adolf Hitler banned All

Davis 4 Quiet on the Western Front so he could strengthen Germany and Germanys military and achieve his goal of world domination.