German Professor quotes

[to class] You are the life of the Fatherland, you boys - you are the iron men of Germany. You are the gay heroes who will repulse the enemy when you are called to do so. It is not for me to suggest that any of you should stand up and offer to defend his country. But I wonder if such a thing is going through your heads. I know that in one of the schools, the boys have risen up in the classroom and enlisted in a mass. If such a thing should happen here, you would not blame me for a feeling of pride. Perhaps some will say that you should not be allowed to go yet - that you have homes, mothers, fathers, that you should not be torn away by your fathers so forgetful of their fatherland...by your mothers so weak that they cannot send a son to defend the land which gave them birth. And after all, is a little experience such a bad thing for a boy? Is the honor of wearing a uniform something from which we should run? And if our young ladies glory in those who wear it, is that anything to be ashamed of?...To be foremost in battle is a virtue not to be despised. I believe it will be a quick war. There will be few losses. But if losses there must be, then let us remember the Latin phrase which must have come to the lips of many a Roman when he stood in battle in a foreign land:...Sweet and fitting it is to die for the Fatherland...Now our country calls. The Fatherland needs leaders. Personal ambition must be thrown aside in the one great sacrifice for our country. Here is a glorious beginning to your lives. The field of honor calls you.

[about Paul] Here is one of the first to go, a lad who sat before me on these very benches who gave up all to serve in the first year of the war. One of the iron youth who have made Germany invincible in the field. Look at him, sturdy and bronze and clear-eyed, the kind of soldier every one of you should envy.

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