All Quiet on the Western Front 15
All Quiet on the Western Front “The first bombs, the first explosion, burst into our hearts. ” (Remarque 88) This is what the soldiers felt like in Erich Maria Remarque novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul Baumer, a young man serving in the German army during World War One, is constantly being faced with the horrible and terrifying aspects of war. From seeing, his fellow soldiers lying dead on the battle field, to learning how to survive on the western front of the war.
With his rifle by his side and his comrade’s right next to him, he knew what his job was to do in the war and that was to serve his country. Although Paul fought for his country in the War, Corrie Ten Boom a member of the Dutch reformed church was faced with the horrific scenes of seeing innocent Jews being put into Concentration Camps. Although, Paul enlisted inWorld War I to help his country and then realized what war really about, Corrie helped her country in World War II in a different way by helping the Jews hide in her house and even surviving a concentration camp herself .
Paul Baumer and Corrie Ten Boom both had different influences and experiences before the start of the war.
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Paul was eager to join the war and wanted to what he could for his country and even Paul’s friend Katczinky said, “It would not be such a bad war if only one can get a little more sleep”(Remarque 2), this leads up to Paul’s friend volunteering for the war. Paul and his friends Leer, Muller and Kropp all enlisted in the war voluntarily “All four are nineteen years in age, and all four joined up from the same class as volunteers for the war .
In the line we have had next to none, and fourteen days is a long time at one stretch” (Remarque 2). Propaganda also had a major part on influencing Paul Baumers to join the war “Enforced publicity has in our eyes restored the character of complete innocence to all these things” [war] (Remarque 8). Paul was also being pressured into joining the war by his teacher; a patriotic professor gave the students “long lectures until the whole of their class went, under his shepherding, to the district commandant and volunteered” (Remarque 11).
His teacher always had the dream of transforming high school students into being a strong one’s self and he believed that joining the military was the way to do that and turning the students into strong “Iron Youth”(Remarque 19). Those who did not join the war would “have been ostracized …. but no one would ever stand out because at the time even one’s parents were ready with the word “coward””(Remarque 11). The young students did not want to be thought of being disobedient to a higher authority because “the idea of authority…. as a greater insight and a more humane wisdom” (Remarque 12) and because of that Paul and the class volunteered their service in the war. Paul also felt like it was his oneself duty to join the war and fight for his country because “We loved our country” (Remarque 13) and wanted to serve it” [the] duty to ones country is the greatest thing” (Remarque 13) Although, Paul wanted to serve his country on the war front Corrie Ten boom had a different start to World War II. Prior to the Holland’s involvement the country, was still at peace.
Corrie Ten Booms family waited anxiously and gathered around the radio, for the Prime Minister of Holland’s announcement about the countries involvement in the war. On May 10th, 1940 at 9:30 P. M. , the announcement came through on the families radio the Prime minister announced there would be no war, and Holland would remain neutral. The voice stopped, and Corrie Ten Boom and her sister looked over at their father and saw a fire they had never seen before. Corries Ten Boom father said, “It is wrong to give people hope when there is no hope, there will be war.
The Germans will attack and we will fall” ( Boom 78) Corrie Ten Boom felt that if father was so skilled at being optimistic, and so slow to believe in evil. Then there would be no other choice but war. Later that night, Corrie Ten Boom, sat right up in her bed because she heard bombs dropping outside her bedroom window and saw the sky turn a red-orange. The start of the war for Corrie Ten Boom is “ The deepest Hell man can create” ( Moore 92) Corrie Ten Boom went to her sisters Tantes room and grabbed herself towards her sister, in the darkness and we threw our arms around each other and together said “war”.
It was only five hours after the Prime Ministers speech. ( Boom 78-80). In the end, Paul Baumer and Corrie Ten Boom both got involved in the war but in a different way. Paul Baumers view on the World War I quickly changed; as he got more involved in the war, and his experience became abominable. The trench conditions that Paul and his comrades were living in got worse “I fling myself down and when I stand up the wall of the trench is plastered with smoking splinters, lumps of flesh, and bits of uniform” (Remarque 111).
Paul’s physical conditions become worse and mentally it became a challenge “Night again. We are deadened by the strain-a deadly tension that scrapes along one’s spine like a gapped knife. Our legs refuse to move, our hands tremble, our bodies are thin skin stretched painfully…we have neither flesh nor muscle and longer” (Remarque 111). As the war continued to go on Paul began to lose feelings for his comrades who he cared so much for in the beginning “We [soldiers] have lost feeling for one another. We can hardly control ourselves….
We are insensible dead men through some dreadful trick are still able to run and kill” (Remarque 116). The soldier’s life now will forever be changed and will now be afraid of life because of what they have seen at war “I know nothing of life but despair, death, and fear. ” (Remarque 263) Towards the end of the war, Paul’s Baumers view on the war had completely changed “We believe in such things but no longer do we believe in war” (Remarque 88). Although Paul Baumer served, his country on the war front Corrie Ten Boom served her country by saving hundreds of Jews lives.
Corrie came from a family who were members of a Dutch reformed Christian church, which protested Nazi persecution of Jews as an injustice to fellow human beings and an affront to divine authority Holocaust encyclopedia. Corrie Ten Boom believed that God will lead her life and “We will never know how God will answer our prayers, but we can expect that he will get us involved in his plan… (Moore 38). During the war, Corrie Ten Boom became involved in resistance efforts to hide the Jews.
Family members would shelter young men sought by the Nazi, forced labor and assisted Jews in contacting persons will to hide them. Corrie Ten Boom decided to get involved with the effort to help hide the Jews in her family home in Haarlem, Netherlands. Corrie Ten Boom was able to hide the Jews by using her job as a watchmaker in her father’s shop as a cover and building contacts with resistance workers. The hiding place was located behind a false wall in her bedroom at the top of the house was an area about two feet wide and eight feet long.
The entrance to the hiding place was accessible by crawling through a wooden sliding panel at the back of the linen cupboard that was built into a false wall. When the German police come to Corrie’s Ten booms house on February 28, 1944 they did not find those in hiding, the hiding place had kept its secret however, the Ten Boom family was arrested and taken to the Scheveningan prison. Corrie described her feelings as she was being loaded into the van “In my heart was a great sense of peace. I had long expected this catastrophe.
Now the blow had fallen…in my mind I kept telling myself Do not ever feel sorry for yourself” (Moore 102). In September 1944 Corrie was deported to the Ravensbruek concentration camp in Germany until her release in December 1944. After her release in 1944, Corrie traveled to America to tell her fascinating Story. Paul Baumer and Corrie Ten Boom both had some similar and different experience at the end of the war. For example, Paul describes the end of the war as “The cause of death like cancer and tuberculosis, like influenza and dysentery.
The deaths are merely more frequent, more varied, and terrible” (Remarque 271). Paul Baulmer describes war as something were you see more death then you see survive. He admits that all war does is casue death, it’s like a sickness. Paul Baumers life will forever be changed. Corrie Ten Boom believed war was “The deepest Hell that Man Can Crete” (Moore 92) Both Paul Baumer and Corrie Ten Boom thought that war was a terrible and frightening event to go through. By the end of the novel Paul had become peaceful with himself “He [Paul] had fallen forward and lay on the earth as though sleeping…. is face had an expression of calm, as though almost glad the end had come” (Remarque 296). Corrie Ten Boom however, has to live on to tell her story about hiding the Jews and her survival in the concentration camps. She received an award for recognition from the Yad Vashem Remembrance Authority as one of the righteous among nations for her resistance in Nazi persecution and helping others hide from the Gestapo and risking her own life. “The tragedy of war is that it uses man’s best to do man’s worst” Henry Fosdick.
When is war justified? The justification of war is when the country gains something from the war. War is still a horrific and terrible thing, and the country is killing thousands and millions of innocent civilian’s lives to save others. War can have a permanent scar on a soldier’s life and can change their lives forever. Going through the physical and mental pain of war just is not worth it. How can a country continue to go into war when there’s moms and dads loosing a husband or wife, daughters and sons losing a mom or dad.
A soldier having the dream to, see their son or daughter grow up but not being able to because he or she shed his blood for his country.
Bibliography Boom, Corrie Ten . The Hiding Place. N. p. : n. p. , n. d. 78-80. Print. “corrie ten boom. ” ushmm. holocaust encyclopedia, 4 May 2009. Web. 10 Feb. 2010. . Moore, Pam Rosewell. Life Lessons from Corrie Ten Boom. Grand rapids: Chosen, n. d. Print. Remarque, Erich Maria. All quiet on the western front. New york: The random house publishing group, 1929. Print quotations about war. ” quotations about war. N. p. , 9 Nov. 2009. Web. 14 Mar. 2010. .