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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

View Quote Albert Kropp: [after discovering that his leg was amputated] I won't be a cripple. I won't live, I tell you...I'll kill myself the first chance I get! I won't live! I won't live!
View Quote Franz Kemmerich: They've cut my leg off. Why didn't they tell me?...I can't walk any more.
View Quote Himmelstoss: You're not much to begin with, but I'll do my best. The first thing to do is to forget everything you ever knew, everything you ever learned - Forget! See. Forget what you've been, and what you think you're going to be. You're going to be soldiers, and that's all. I'll take the mother's milk out of you, I'll make you hard-boiled. I'll make soldiers out of you, or kill you!
View Quote Mr. Bäumer: But we know how to honor the soldier who goes on in spite of love and death. [a truck full of coffins pulls up] Hey, look, new coffins. [a truck full of recruits pulls up] And they even sent us the stuff to fill 'em with!
View Quote Mrs. Bäumer: Oh, Paul. You're a soldier now, aren't you? Somehow, I don't seem to know you... Are you really here Paul? You won't disappear, will you?
View Quote Soldier: They never taught us anything really useful, like how to light a cigarette in the wind, or make a fire out of wet wood, or bayonet a man in the belly.
View Quote Title card: This story is neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped its shells, were destroyed by the war...
View Quote 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.
View Quote Mrs. Bäumer: There's something I want to say to you, Paul. It's just be on your guard against the women out there. They're no good.
Paul: Where we are, there aren't any women, Mother.
Mrs. Bäumer: Be very careful at the front, Paul...I'll pray for you every day and if you could get a job that's not quite so dangerous.
View Quote Old Man: And how are things out there? Terrible, eh? Terrible. But we must carry on. After all, you at least get decent food out there. Naturally it's worse here. Naturally but the best for our soldiers all the time. That's our motto: 'The best for our soldiers.' But you must give the Frenchies a good licking. [looks at map of the Front] There's the line. It runs so. Shove ahead out there, and don't stick to that everlasting trench warfare.
Paul: When you get in it, war isn't the way it looks back here.
Old Man: Oh! You don't know anything about it. Of course, you're needed. But this relates to the whole, and you can't judge that. Of course, you do your duty and you risk your life. But for that, you receive the highest honor.
View Quote 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.
View Quote Paul: You see, we haven't eaten since breakfast, we thought maybe you could tell us what we ought to do about it.
Tjaden: Eat without further delay. It's a bad town to bring an appetite to, soldier. We've been here since yesterday morning and we've been living on a bale of hay and razor blades.
View Quote Professor: You must speak to them. You must tell them what it means to serve your Fatherland.
Paul: No, no, I can't tell them anything.
Professor: You must Paul, just a word. Just tell them how much they're needed out there. Tell them why you went and what it meant to you.
Paul: I can't say anything.
Professor: Can't you remember some deed of heroism, some touch of nobility to tell about?
Paul: I can't tell you anything you don't know. We live in the trenches out there. We fight. We try not to be killed. Sometimes we are. That's all.
Professor: No, no Paul.
Paul: I've been there. I know what it's like.
Professor: But that's not what one dwells on, Paul.
Paul: I heard you in here reciting that same old stuff, making more iron men, more young heroes. You still think it's beautiful and sweet to die for your country, don't you? We used to think you knew. The first bombardment taught us better. It's dirty and painful to die for your country. When it comes to dying for your country, it's better not to die at all. There are millions out there dying for their country, and what good is it?
[Some of the boys boo Paul]
Paul: You asked me to tell them how much they're needed out there. He tells you, 'Go out and die,' you know. But if you'll pardon me, it's easier to say 'go out and die' than it is to do it.
Boy #1: Coward.
Paul: And it's easier to say it than to watch it happen.
Entire class: You're a coward.
Professor: No! No! Boys! Boys! [To Paul] I'm sorry about that, but I must say...
Paul: There's no use talking like this. You won't know what I mean - only, it's been a long while since we enlisted out of this classroom. So long, I thought maybe the whole world had learned by this time. Only now, they're sending babies, and they won't last a week. I shouldn't have come on leave. Up at the front, you're alive or you're dead and that's all. And you can't fool anybody about that very long. And up there, we know we're lost and done for, whether we're dead or alive. Three years we've had of it, four years, and every day a year, and every night a century. And our bodies are earth. And our thoughts are clay. And we sleep and eat with death. And we're done for, because you can't live that way and keep anything inside you. I shouldn't have come on leave. I'll go back tomorrow. I've got four days more, but I can't stand it here. I'll go back tomorrow.
View Quote Soldier: Dead. He's dead.
Katczinsky: Why did you risk your life bringing him in?
Soldier: But it's Behm, my friend.
Katczinsky: It's a corpse, no matter whose it is. Now, don't any of ya ever do that again.
View Quote Tjaden: Well, how do they start a war?
Soldier #1: Well, one country offends another.
Tjaden: How could one country offend another? You mean there's a mountain over in Germany gets mad at a field over in France?
Soldier #1: Well, stupid. One people offends another.
Tjaden: Oh, that's it. I shouldn't be here at all. I don't feel offended.
Katczinsky: It don't apply to tramps like you.
Tjaden: Good. Then I can be going home right away...The Kaiser and me...Me and the Kaiser felt just alike about this war. We didn't neither of us want any war, so I'm going home. He's there already.
Soldier #1: Somebody must have wanted it. Maybe it was the English. No, I don't want to shoot any Englishman. I never saw one 'til I came up here. And I suppose most of them never saw a German 'til they came up here. No, I'm sure they weren't asked about it.
Soldier #2: Well, it must be doing somebody some good.
Tjaden: Not me and the Kaiser.
Soldier #1: I think maybe the Kaiser wanted a war.
Tjaden: You leave us out of this.
Katczinsky: I don't see that. The Kaiser's got everything he needs.
Soldier #1: Well, he never had a war before. Every full-grown Emperor needs one war to make him famous. Why, that's history.
Paul: Yeah, Generals too. They need war.
Soldier #3: And manufacturers. They get rich.
Soldier #1: Nobody wants it in particular. And then all at once, here it is. We didn't want it. The English didn't want it. And here we are fighting.
Katczinsky: I'll tell ya how it should all be done. Whenever there's a big war comin' on, you should rope off a big field.
Soldier #1: And sell tickets.
Katczinsky: Yeah, and, and, on the big day, you should take all the kings and their cabinets and their generals, put them in the center dressed in their underpants and let 'em fight it out with clubs. The best country wins.