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Erich Maria Remarque

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Erich Maria Remarque, pseudonym of Erich Paul Remark, (born June 22, 1898, Osnabrück, Ger.—died Sept. 25, 1970, Locarno, Switz.), novelist who is chiefly remembered as the author of Im Westen nichts Neues (1929; All Quiet on the Western Front), which became perhaps the best-known and most representative novel dealing with World War I.

Remarque was drafted into the German army at the age of 18 and was wounded several times. After the war he worked as a racing-car driver and as a sportswriter while working on All Quiet on the Western Front. The novel’s events are those in the daily routine of soldiers who seem to have no past or future apart from their life in the trenches. Its title, the language of routine communiqués, is typical of its cool, terse style, which records the daily horrors of war in laconic understatement. Its casual amorality was in shocking contrast to patriotic rhetoric. The book was an immediate international success, as was the American film made from it in 1930. It was followed by a sequel, Der Weg zurück (1931; The Road Back), dealing with the collapse of Germany in 1918. Remarque wrote several other novels, most of them dealing with victims of the political upheavals of Europe during World Wars I and II. Some had popular success and were filmed (e.g., Arc de Triomphe, 1946), but none achieved the critical prestige of his first book.

Remarque left Germany for Switzerland in 1932. His books were banned by the Nazis in 1933. In 1939 he went to the United States, where he was naturalized in 1947. After World War II he settled in Porto Ronco, Switz., on Lake Maggiore, where he lived with his second wife, the American actress Paulette Goddard, until his death.

Biography of Erich Maria Remarque / Биография Эриха Мария Ремарка

Much of the literature written about World War I in the years following the war focused on heroism and patriotism. But author Erich Maria Remarque told a different story. World War I was a new kind of war, a war fought with modern military technology. Machine guns increased the firepower available to troops and sometimes thousands of soldiers died in a single day. Remarque exposed this harsh reality in a novel that changed many people’s attitudes about war. Remarque was born Erich Paul Remark in Osnabruck, Germany, in 1898. He was raised in a working-class Catholic family.

As a youth, Remarque didn’t show great interest in academics, but he did study briefly at the University of Munster. In 1916, when he turned 18, Remark was drafted into the German army and served on the western front in World War I, though not in the trenches. Remark’s mother, to whom he had been very close, died while he was in the army. He later took his mother’s middle name, Maria, as his own, and changed the spelling of his last name to Remarque in honor of his French ancestors. After the war ended Remarque worked a number of jobs, including teacher, sportswriter, and racecar driver. He also began writing a novel based on the war as he had seen it.

His novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, was published in 1929. The story was written from the perspective of a 19-year-old soldier. It showed the cruelty of the war and recounted the collapse of the German army. Because Remarque’s work was not patriotic, the book caused great controversy in Germany. Even so, it sold more than 1.2 million copies in its first year. It became an international success and was made into a movie. Suddenly, Remarque was famous. He was also very unpopular with Nazis, who considered All Quiet on the Western Front an insult to Germany.

When the movie premiered in Berlin in 1930, gangs of Nazis disrupted the showing. When the Nazis came to power in 1932, Remarque moved to Switzerland. Within a year’s time, the Nazis had banned and publicly burned the book. In 1938 they took away Remarque’s German citizenship. The next year, the author moved to the United States. He wrote 10 more novels that focus on human relationships in the midst of social or political upheaval. However, All Quiet on the Western Front remains his best-known work. In 1947 Remarque became an American citizen. He married an actress and split his time between the United States and Switzerland. After World War II he was no longer an enemy to Germany and in 1967 he received West Germany’s Great Order of Merit. Remarque died in 1970 in Switzerland.

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Erich Maria Remarque Biography, Life, Interesting Facts

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Erich Maria Remarque was born on June 22nd, in 1898. He was a celebrated German novelist. Most of his works centered on the terror he experienced while fighting in wars. Right from a young age of 18 years, he was already on the battlefront with the German army. His notable work was called All Quiet on the Western Front – 1928. This book talked about First World War and how the German soldiers fought. Later on, due to its success, it was adopted into a film.

Early Life

Erich Maria Remarque was born on June 22nd, 1898. His birthplace was in Osnabrück, Germany. His father, Peter Franz Remark worked as a pressman and was considered a licensed bookbinder. His mother was called Anna Maria Stallknecht.


At the onset of World War I, Erich Maria Remarque was called to serve in the army. During this time, he was only 18 years old. On June 12th, 1917, he received a transfer to the Western Front situated in Hem-Lenglet. A few days later, on June 26th, he was further stationed between Houthulst and Torhout. However, the following month, he got wounded on his left leg, neck and his right arm. Remarque had to be sent to an army hospital to get well. This is where he spent the entire war period.

With time, Remarque decided to try out teaching profession. Two years later, he landed himself a job as a primary school teacher. Things did not seem to work out fine in this profession, and he quickly left for other jobs. Some of the jobs that he landed on include librarian, editor, journalist, and a businessman. He also delved into writing where he got paid for writing for the Continental Rubber Company. This was a tire manufacture company in Germany.

Writing Career

Writing was not a new thing to Erich Maria Remarque as he had indulged in this profession when he was still 16 years old. His first works included poems and essays. In addition to this, he had also began writing his first novel that was later completed in 1920. This novel was called The Dream Room – 1920. It did not take long before All Quiet on the Western Front was published. A few things changed in his life including his name. His mother had also passed away, and in honor of her memory, he decided to adopt her name, i.e., Maria. Also, the family’s surname was Kramer, but he also changed its spelling and adopted the name ‘Remark.’

After that, he published Station at the Horizon in 1927. A few years later, he completed another novel titled The Road Back – 1931. After this, he purchased a home in Switzerland. This was a move that would guarantee him that he could live either in Switzerland or France. Other novels that he published, later on, include Three Comrades and Arch of Triumph. The latter work performed well, and it earned Remarque global recognition. Shadows in Paradise marked the end of his writing career.