25 All Quiet on the Western Front from the Classic War Novel

Revisit some classic war literature with our All Quiet on the Western Front quotes. 

This novel explores the horrors of war through the eyes of German soldiers who fought in World War I

Learn more with our All Quiet on the Western Front quotes.

What is All Quiet on the Western Front about?

All Quiet on the Western Front is a novel by German author and World War I veteran Erich Maria Remarque. 

The book opened the eyes of millions of people regarding the war and what it was like for soldiers returning to civilian life. 

Check out these interesting All Quiet on the Western Front facts:

  • The novel’s sequel is called The Way Back
  • Early versions of All Quiet on the Western Front were censored in America. 
  • Erich Maria Remarque wrote the novel based on his experience during the war.

Why was All Quiet on the Western Front censored in America? 

American censorship has always been a slippery slope. 

The country that lauds itself as the land of the free has a long history of silencing voices. 

In the case of Erich Maria Remarque’s novel, much of what was censored seems inconsequential now.

However, when the book was released, some of these scenes were considered over the top and had to be removed. 

The book is centered on war, yet critics had no problem with the violence.

Some readers were offended by the latrine scenes as they vividly describe bowel movements and the overall intestinal hygiene of World War I soldiers. 

The following quote sums up why Remarque felt compelled to share so much intimate detail about what soldiers do in the bathroom. 

He notes:

“The soldier is on friendlier terms than other men with his stomach and intestines.”

He adds, “Three-quarters of his vocabulary is derived from these regions, and they give an intimate flavor to expressions of his greatest joy as well as of his deepest indignation.” 

When titles become colloquial language

All Quiet on the Western Front has grown from a book title to a movie title to colloquial language. 

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When journalists or people use the phrase “All quiet on the Western front,” they are describing situations that have become stagnant or lack movement. 

Check out our All Quiet on the Western Front quotes below to learn more. 

Short All Quiet on the Western Front quotes about forgiveness

We begin with these short quotes about war and forgiveness

1. “We don’t want to take the world by storm.” ― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

2. “Forgive me, comrade. We always see it too late.” ― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

3. “We are fleeing. We fly from ourselves. From our life.” ― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

4. “But now, for the first time, I see you are a man like me.” ― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

5. “Forgive me, comrade; how could you be my enemy?” ― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

The best All Quiet on the Western Front quotes about youth

Youth is a central theme throughout the novel. 

6. “We are not youth any longer.” ― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

7. “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.” ― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

8. “We’re no longer young men. We’ve lost any desire to conquer the world.” ― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

9. “The quick joy in the world of thought, it shall bring back again the lost eagerness of my youth.” ― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

10. “We are forlorn like children, and experienced like old men; we are crude and sorrowful and superficial.” ― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

The top All Quiet on the Western Front about war

War is a force that determines the lives of countless individuals. 

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11. “It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped shells, were destroyed by the war.” ― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

12. “We have so much to say, and we shall never say it.” ― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

13. “We were all at once terribly alone, and alone we must see it through.” ― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

14. “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.” ― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

15. “I believe we are lost.” ― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

Famous All Quiet on the Western Front about fortune and happiness

Check out these deep quotes about soldiers and war. 

16. “I thought of your hand grenades, of your bayonet, of your rifle; now I see your wife and your face and our fellowship.” ― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

17. “I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another.” ― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

18. “It is very queer that the unhappiness of the world is so often brought on by small men.” ― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

19. “We were eighteen and had begun to love life and the world, and we had to shoot it to pieces.” ― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

20. “Why do they never tell us that you are poor devils like us, that your mothers are just as anxious as ours, and that we have the same fear of death, and the same dying and the same agony.” ― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front quotes and sayings about life

We end our selection with these wise observations about war, hospitals, and silence. 

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21. “A hospital alone shows what war is.” ― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

22. “He had fallen forward and lay on the earth as though sleeping.” ― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

23. “He fell in October 1918, on a day that was so quiet and still on the whole front, that the army report confined itself to the single sentence: All quiet on the Western Front.” ― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

24. “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.” ― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

25. “How senseless is everything that can ever be written, done, or thought, when such things are possible.” ― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

What can we learn from war?

War is one of the most devastating aspects of life on planet Earth. 

All Quiet on the Western Front is a classic piece of literature that captures the brutal nature of war while weaving in the complex human element. 

War can serve as a powerful lesson on how not to repeat the mistakes of the past. 

What is your favorite quote from All Quiet on the Western Front?

Be sure to let us know in the comments. 

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