It is the epitome of the anti-war novel that has sold over 20 million copies. Yet on the 50th anniversary of Remarque’s death, his political intentions remain unclear.
Until his death, Remarque enjoyed his image as a pacifist obtained through his early success. But he was not able to bank on that again. Only much later in life did he admit that he had always been an apolitical person.
Erich Maria Remarque: All Quiet on the Western Front, Little, Brown and Company (German title: Im Westen nichts Neues, 1929). English translation: Arthur Wesley Wheen / Brian Murdoch.
Erich Maria Remarque was born in Osnabrück to a family that had emigrated from France. He left Germany to live in Switzerland in 1933. His works were scorned by the Nazis, who burned his books. He resided in the US as of 1939. Following World War II, he alternated between the US and Switzerland, passing away in Locarno on September 25, 1970.