Erich Maria Remarque: Dealing With Disillusionment and Post Traumatic Stress

Erich Maria Remarque

Erich Maria Remarque: Dealing With Disillusionment and Post Traumatic Stress

Erich Maria Remarque was born June 22, 1898, in Osnabruck, Germany.  His birth name was Erich Paul Remark.  He changed his name for the 1929 publication of his novel All Quiet on the Western Front.

Remarque was descended from French ancestors who fled after the French Revolution. The third of four children, the family was working class and moved often.

Remarque began writing around the age of 16.

World War One

Author Erich Maria Remarque during World War One
Erich Maria Remarque [Editor’s Note: A Pinterest user pointed out that this is an image of Ernst Junger. Numerous websites, however, indicate it is Remarque. Additional identification is needed.]

Conscripted as a teenager, Remarque served on the Western Front until he was injured. He spent the remainder of the war in the hospital.

Remarque is best known All Quiet on the Western Front, a story that focuses on the mental and physical conditions soldiers encountered at the front. The majority of the main characters in the story are teenagers, as Remarque had been, their hopes and dreams dashed by the war. The sequel, The Road Back, deals with soldiers trying to readjust to civilian life. Its theme of disillusionment and post traumatic stress was based on Remarque’s own experience.

“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,” Remarque says in the novel. “I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another.”

Remarque died September 25, 1970.

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Updated:  23 October 2020
Melina Druga
Most kids have an active imagination. My imagination has stayed strong into adulthood, and I’ve funneled that creativity into a successful writing career. I write history, both fiction and nonfiction, because although your school history classes may have been boring, the past is not. My goal is to bring the past to life in all its myriad of colors.
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