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All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front quotes

30 total quotes

German Professor
Multiple Characters
Paul Bäumer
Sergeant Stanislas "Kat" Katczinsky

Sometime I'm gonna take one of you volunteers apart — find out what makes you leave school and join the army. Hey, this is no parade ground.

Katczinsky: You couldn't do anything about it. We all have to kill. We can't help it. That's what we are here for... Now don't you lose any more sleep over this business.
Paul: Maybe it was because I was out there with him so long, huh?...After all, war is war.

Paul: Oh, I'm no good for back there any more, Kat. None of us are. We've been in this too long. The young men thought I was a coward because I told them that we learned that death is stronger than duty to one's country. The old men said: 'Go on! Push on to Paris!' My father even wanted me to wear my uniform around him. It's not home back there anymore. All I could think of was: 'I'd like to get back and see Kat again.' You're all I've got left, Kat.
Katczinsky: I'm not much to have left. I missed you Paul.
Paul: At least we know what it's all about out here. There are no lies here.
Katczinsky: 'Push on to Paris'? You ought to see what they've got on the other side. They eat white bread over there. They've got dozens of airplanes to our one. And tanks that'll go over anything. And what have we got? Guns so worn they've dropped shells on our own men. No food, no ammunition, no officers. 'Push on to Paris'? So that's the way they talk back there.

[Paul is on a mission with his comrades. He goes in a shell hole and to protect himself from gunfire] I say "You must [get out of this hollow], it is your comrades, it is not and idiotic command," and again: "What does it matter to me, I have only one life to lose—"

Oh God. This is Franz Kemmerich, only 19 years old. He doesn't want to die. Please don't let him die.

I saw him die. I didn't know what it was like to die before! And then, then I came outside and it felt so good to be alive, that I started in to walk fast. I began to think of the strangest things like bein' out in the fields, things like that. You know — girls. Then it felt as if there were something electric running from the ground up through me. And I started. And I began to run hard and I passed soldiers, and I heard voices calling to me, and I ran and I ran, and I felt as if I couldn't breathe enough air into me. And now I'm hungry.

Out of 20, three are officers, nine dead, Müller and three others wounded, and one in the mad house. We'll all be dead someday so let's forget it.

[Paul is trapped in a shell crater with the body of a French soldier he has just mortally wounded.] Stop that! I can't listen to that. Why do you take so long to die? You're going to die anyway. No, no. You won't die. No, no, You won't die. They're only little wounds. You'll get home. You'll be all right. You'll get home long before I will. You know I can't run away. That's why you accuse me. I tell you I didn't want to kill you. I tried to keep you alive. If you jumped in here again, I wouldn't do it... You see, when you jumped in here, you were my enemy — and I was afraid of you. But you're just a man like me, and I killed you. Forgive me, comrade. Say that for me. Say you forgive me! Oh, no, you're dead! Only you're better off than I am — you're through — they can't do any more to you now. Oh, God! why did they do this to us? We only wanted to live, you and I. Why should they send us out to fight each other? If they threw away these rifles and these uniforms, you could be my brother, just like Kat and Albert. You'll have to forgive me, comrade. I'll do all I can. I'll write to your parents. I'll write to your wife. I'll write to her. I promise she'll not want for anything. And I'll help her, and your parents, too. Only forgive me. Forgive me. Forgive me....

[to new recruits] Now you're gonna see some shell fire, and you're gonna be scared... [a shell explodes nearby and they all duck for cover; one terrified recruit soils his pants] Never mind. It's happened to better men than you. And it's happened to me. When we come back, I'll get you all some nice, clean underwear!

That cannon shell you don't have to pay much attention to. Those big fellas just make a lot of noise and land about five miles behind the line. The things we've got to watch out for are them black ones. They don't give you much warning... Mother Earth — press yourselves down upon her! Bury yourselves deep into her! Just keep your eyes on me. When you see me flop, you flop, only try to beat me to it.

There's 80 of us left. The rest is in dressing stations or pushing up daisies.

[to Paul on his return] It's gonna be a real war again.

There used to be some food in the sawdust. Now it's all sawdust. No joke either.

Replacements are all like that. Not even old enough to carry a pack. All they know how to do is die.

[of Katczinsky] If he were out, the war would be over. You remember what he always said: 'They're savin' him for the last.'