We have our dreams because without them we could not bear the truth.— Erich Maria Remarque
The most special Erich Maria Remarque quotes that are easy to memorize and remember
Life is a disease, brother, and death begins already at birth.
Every breath, every heartbeat, is a moment of dying - a little shove toward the end.
This book is to be 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 shells, were destroyed by the war.
I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another.
Am I jealous? he thought, astonished.
Jealous of the chance object to which she has attached herself? Jealous of something that does not concern me? One can be jealous of a love that has turned away, but not of that to which it has turned.
To forget is the secret of eternal youth.
One grows old only through memory. There's much too little forgetting.
No matter how improbable an assertion is, if it is made with enough assurance it has an affect.
The crowd, still shouting, gives way before us.
We plough our way through. Women hold their aprons over their faces and go stumbling away. A roar of fury goes up. A wounded man is being carried off.
We were eighteen and had begun to love life and the world; and we had to shoot it to pieces.
We are not youth any longer. We don’t want to take the world by storm. We are fleeing. We fly from ourselves. From our life. We were eighteen and had begun to love life and the world; and we had to shoot it to pieces.
Someone said to me once that a cigarette at the right moment is better than all the ideals in the world.
Good or ill, life is life; you only realize that when you have to risk it.
We are little flames poorly sheltered by frail walls against the storm of dissolution and madness, in which we flicker and sometimes almost go out…we creep in upon ourselves and with big eyes stare into the night…and thus we wait for morning.
I am often on guard over the Russians.
In the darkness one sees their forms move like stick storks, like great birds. They come close up to the wire fence and lean their faces against it. Their fingers hook round the mesh.
A man can gasp out his life beside you-and you feel none of it.
Pity, Sympathy, sure-but you don't feel the pain. Your belly is whole and that's what counts. A half-yard away someone's world is snuffled out in roaring agony-and you feel nothing. That's the misery of the world.
They are more to me than life, these voices, they are more than motherliness and more than fear; they are the strongest, most comforting thing there is anywhere: they are the voices of my comrades.
No soldier outlives a thousand chances. But every soldier believes in Chance and trusts his luck.
All Quiet on the Western Front.
(Ravic speaking of a butterfly caught in the Louvre) In the morning it would search for flowers and life and the light honey of blossoms and would not find them and later it would fall asleep on millennial marble, weakened by then, until the grip of the delicate, tenacious feet loosened and it fell, a thin leaf of premature autumn.
Courage is the fairest adornment of youth.
Mirrors are there when we are and yet they never give anything back to us but our own image. Never, never shall we know what they are when they are alone or what is behind them.
We want to live at any price; so we cannot burden ourselves with feelings which, though they might be ornamental enough in peace-time, would be out of place here.
We march up, moody or good-tempered soldiers - we reach the zone where the front begins and become on the instant human animals.
I, too, am going to go away soon,' she says, 'I am weary and weary of my weariness. Everything is beginning to be a little empty and full of leave-taking and melancholy and waiting.
The wisest were just the poor and simple people.
They knew the war to be a misfortune, whereas those who were better off, and should have been able to see more clearly what the consequences would be, were beside themselves with joy.
We are forlorn like children, and experienced like old men, we are crude and sorrowful and superficial—I believe we are lost.
It's all rot that they put in the war-news about the good humour of the troops, how they are arranging dances almost before they are out of the front-line. We don't act like that because we are in a good humour: we are in a good humour because otherwise we should go to pieces.
What comfort there is in the skin of someone you love!
I felt the first soft glow of intoxication that makes the blood warmer and spreads an illusion of adventure over uncertainty.
We lie under the network of arching shells and live in a suspense of uncertainty. If a shot comes, we can duck, that is all; we neither know nor can determine where it will fall." - All Quiet On The Western Front, Ch. 6
To me the front is a mysterious whirlpool.
Though I am in still water far away from its centre, I feel the whirl of the vortex sucking me slowly, irresistibly, inescapably into itself.
Our thoughts are clay, they are moulded with the changes of the days;
--when we are resting they are good; under fire, they are dead. Fields of craters within and without.
At school nobody ever taught us how to light a cigarette in a storm of rain, nor how a fire could be made with wet wood-nor that it is best to stick a bayonet in the belly because there it doesn't get jammed, as it does in the ribs.
Trenches, hospitals, the common grave--there are no other possibilities.
Sweet dreams though the guns are booming.
The miracle has passed me by; it has touched but not changed me; I still have the same name and I know I will probably bear it until the end of my days; I am no phoenix; resurrection is not for me; I have tried to fly but I am tumbling like a dazzled, awkward rooster back to earth, back behind the barbed wires.
How senseless is everything that can ever be written, done, or thought, when such things are possible. It must be all lies and of no account when the culture of a thousand years could not prevent this stream of blood being poured out, these torture-chambers in their hundreds of thousands. A hospital alone shows what war is.
For us lads of eighteen they ought to have been mediators and guides to the world of maturity, the world of work, of duty, of culture, of progress -- to the future.
... clothes sometimes gave one more of a lift than any philosophic comforting.
We have lost all sense of other considerations, because they are artificial.
Only the facts are real and important to us. And good boots are hard to come by." - All Quiet On The Western Front, Ch. 2
The storm lashes us, out of the confusion of grey and yellow the hail of splinters whips forth the childlike cries of the wounded, and in the night shattered life groans painfully into silence. Our hands are earth, our bodies clay and our eyes pools of rain. We do not know whether we are still alive.
You take it from me, we are losing the war because we can salute too well.
Suddenly I become filled with a consuming impatience to be gone.
The coffin, it shall protect me, though Death himself lies in it
A hospital alone shows what war is.
Bombardment, barrage, curtain-fire, mines, gas, tanks, machine-guns, hand-grenades - words, words, but they hold the horror of the world.
I did not want to think so much about her.
I wanted to take her as an unexpected, delightful gift, that had come and would go again — nothing more. I meant not to give room to the thought that it could ever be more. I knew too well that all love has the desire for eternity and that therein lies its eternal torment. Nothing lasts. Nothing.
Monotonously the lorries sway, monotonously come the calls, monotonously falls the rain. It falls on our heads and on the heads of the dead up the line, on the body of the little recruit with the wound that is so much too big for his hip; it falls on Kemmerich's grave; it falls in our hearts.
I am no longer a shuddering speck of existence, alone in the darkness;
--I belong to them and they to me; we all share the same fear and the same life...I could bury my face in them, in these voices, these words that have saved me and will stand by me.
Through the years our business has been killing;
-it was our first calling in life. Our knowledge of lif eis limited to death.