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. (This post is a companion piece to Melina Druga’s WWI Trilogy, Angel of Mercy, Those Left Behind and Adjustment Year, available wherever eBooks are sold.)
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
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.
Remarque died September 25, 1970.
Updated: 23 October 2020