All Quiet on the Western Front


 

All Quiet on the Western Front

The silence spreads. I talk and must talk. So I speak to him  and say to him. “Comrade, I did not want to kill you. If you jumped in here again, I would not do it, if you would be sensible too. But you were only an idea to me before, an abstraction that lived in my mind and called forth its appropriate response. It was that abstraction I stabbed. But now, for the first time, I see you are a man like me. I thought of your hand-grenades, of your bayonet, of your rifle; now I see your wife and your face and our fellowship. Forgive me, comrade. We always see it too late. Why do thy never tell us that you are just 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—forgive me, comrade; how could you be my enemy? If we threw away these rifles and this uniform you could be my brother like Kat and Albert. Take twenty years of my life comrade, and stand up—take more, for I do not know what I can even attempt to do with it now.”

—Erich Maria Remarque

 

” Think of what a world we could build if the power unleashed in war were applied to constructive tasks! On-tenth of the energy that the various belligerents spent in a war, a fraction of the money they exploded in hand grenades and poison gas, would suffice to raise the standard of living in every country and avert the economic catastrophe of worldwide unemployment. We must be prepared to make the same heroic sacrifices for the cause of war. There is no task that is more important or closer to my heart.”

—Albert Einstein

 

You have to work for peace.—Barbara Mattio

 

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