TIL: The Nazis executed the sister of the author of "All is Quiet on the Western Front" with the words "Your brother is unfortunately beyond our reach – you, however, will not escape us" being uttered at her trial

  1. The bizarre thing is All Quiet on the Western Front is one of the all-time most sympathetic portraits of German (Prussian) soldiers that I'm aware of.

  2. The Nazis wanted people to think war was this glorious and righteous thing that young men should be proud to go off and do even if it costs them their lives. So the literal opposite of the message of the book.

  3. It paints the war as being senseless and horrifying and that the German soldiers were just as lied to and abused as any other soldiers. The Nazis wanted the public to think the war was lost due to betrayal by leftists/Jews and that it was a glorious undertaking.

  4. Uncritical violence and action are central to fascism, and the Nazi's fetishized the idea of Aryan "supermen." All Quiet on the Western Front is in direct conflict with those ideas. I'm sure there's plenty of contemporary politics around WWI that the Nazis didn't appreciate about the novel as well.

  5. That's exactly why the nazis hated it. They expected soldiers to be tough fighting machines that show no mercy to anyone.

  6. This is what I was going to say/ask. I haven’t read it in a long time, but from my recollection it wasn’t like anti-nazi so much as anti-war in general.

  7. Yeah, I don't understand the hate. I don't recall the book being anti-German in any way, but it's been 25 years since I read it.

  8. In the era of Trumpism, I have learned that fascism is a sort of "collective insanity" where the members are given permission to act out like crazed children and violence is normalized. Cruelty is the point. The book is anti-violence and that cannot be tolerated in the cult of fascism. It doesn't matter that she didn't write the book or maybe even disagreed with it's message. The point was to exercise their hate--a hate that was skillfully cultivated by Hitler and his goons. It's the same here in the US now. A violent mob wanted to kill Trump's most loyal servant: the vice president. It doesn't even matter if you have been loyal; these people WILL kill you and your family if Dear Leader commands it. It scares the hell out of me.

  9. Aside from what everyone else already said, Nazis and Prussians disliked each other. Nazis considered Prussians stuck up old aristocracy and Prussians considered Nazis upstart extremists. There was a ton of Prussian officers in the German military and the Nazis dominated the government so they had to put up with each other, at least while Germany was winning up to 1942. Nearly all of Hitler's assassinations attempts where organized by Prussians and late into the war, Hitler started purging them.

  10. Check out how the asshole that said that to her died. Gives me some satisfaction. Friesler was a really crazy fanatic.

  11. Even though not directly part of the topic, I highly recommend reading "All is quiet on the Western Front" by Erich Maria Remarque while also watching Sam Mendes' "1917" and Peter Jackson's "They Shall Not Grow Old".

  12. In my opinion, the best WWI movie is actually Paths of Glory. 1957, Directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Kirk Douglas.

  13. The original film adaptation of All Quiet is also very good. It was an early talkie, but also effectively pre-Hays Code, so it's surprisingly violent and dark at times. It really holds up well, with some battle scenes being so reminiscent of Saving Private Ryan that I'm certain that Spielberg must have been strongly influenced.

  14. I watched they shall not grow old from the front row of a packed movie theater. You really see the swirly details of the processing but i would have missed my chance otherwise. It was only showing in my area a couple days.

  15. The Nazis committed many heinous crimes - they were so many WWII massacres that Wikipedia has a section just for that in the German war crimes Wikipedia article.

  16. The Nazis hated that book. When the movie came out in 1930, they started harassing and attacking theaters that showed it: "During and after its German premiere in Berlin on December 4, 1930, Nazi brownshirts under the command of Joseph Goebbels disrupted the viewings by setting off stink bombs, throwing sneezing powder in the air and releasing white mice in the theaters, eventually escalating to attacking audience members perceived to be Jewish and forcing projectors to shut down. They repeatedly yelled out "Judenfilm!" ("Jewish film!") while doing this. Goebbels wrote about one such disruption in his personal diary. The Nazi campaign was successful and German authorities outlawed the film on December 11, 1930. A heavily cut version was briefly allowed in 1931, before the Nazis came to power in 1933 and the film was outlawed again. The film was finally re-released in Germany on April 25, 1952, in the Capitol Theatre in West Berlin."

  17. My maternal great grandfather and his brother changed their last name to sound more Italian due to anti-German sentiment around WW1.

  18. Not that uncommon. Lots of immigrants on Elis island Americanized their last name so fit in better or to avoid anti immigrant sentiment

  19. To be clear, the Nazis didn't simply execute her to antagonize him like some Game of Thrones type power play. She was very much an anti-Nazi activist herself.

  20. In the German tv show “Babylon Berlin” (that’s how it’s named on Netflix for English language viewers), it is shown as the method for execution of an enemy of the state (not literally the head being chopped off, but the scene around the execution) during the interwar period.

  21. The German title is actually "Im Westen nichts Neues", which literally would translate to "Nothing new in the west".

  22. Never apologize for calling out someone being wrong. More of that would solve far more problems than it would cause.

  23. For anyone who hasn’t read it, why the fuck have you not read it? Drop what you’re doing and go read it. It’s not long and it’s a literary masterpiece.

  24. Thanks for posting this. I actually will. It fell into the void of books I was forced to read for school but was way too young to appreciate. When I graduated from college I actually went back and re-read a bunch that fell into this category. Martian Chronicles, 1984, Catcher in the Rye, etc.

  25. So true, I got hooked with his writing style, I read all 9 of his books. Each one has different story but some how has small hints and connection here and there. A great writer with such a sad life.

  26. I keep kind of a morbid list of "Things that if you think about doing, you now know you're the bad guy"..

  27. ... who was also married to Charlie Chaplin, maker of The Great Dictator, one of the first big movies explicitly attacking Nazis. Paulette Goddard: fucking prominent anti-Nazis one marriage at a time.

  28. It says inn1933 his writings were declared “unpatriotic” by Nazi Germany and banned in the country. Huh. Sounds familiar. Like books being taken out of schools in certain states for painting white people in a bad light in terms of slavery.

  29. Just to be clear "Sippenhaft" means basically "family imprisonment" and it usually was that - you weren't normally executed, but you were sent to prison/concentration camp and children would usually be taken away (other famous examples are what happened to the families of the 20th July plot members).

  30. It is why they managed to rule so effectively and shut down dissent. I find it so annoying hearing people go on about how all Germans were nazis and guilty. Fast forward to 2022 and you see people posting on various social media about how hurt they feel when their boss criticizes them, how traumatizing it is. Imagine fearing for not just yourself but your whole family literally going down, sometimes tortured to death if you say something perceived as critical.

  31. Oh yeah, they killed a group of students and teachers called "Die Weisse Rose" (White rose) just because they printed some anti-regime pamphlets, no jail, all executed after a short (and unfair of course) trial. There were also some young women in this group.

  32. I agree, groupthink is powerful. I feel the aforementioned reaction is due to most people living in a fantasy world where they're chock-full of courage. With bloodlust in their eyes, they imagine that they alone would stand up to face tyranny despite the risk. It's obviously bullshit.

  33. What's frightening to me is this all happened less then 70 years ago. People are still alive who went through that time. And people dont think a war or something like that could happen again or here. Its frightening the way the nazis came to power.

  34. Remarque’s Wikipedia page does not mention his sister’s murder. Someone should fix that. Preferable someone who knows more about history than what I pick up on reddit.

  35. Oh and also, for those who wonder if the third reich were all bad - and sadly there seem to be more every day, here’s an example of their cruelty and evil which anyone can immediately grasp. Yes. They were bad and what’s worse is that this could happen again if we’re not very, very careful.

  36. No they put her on trial because she said that the war was lost. It was the icing on the cake that he was her rother not the reason they executed her.

  37. A redditor mentioned the book in a comment a while ago. I bought the book started reading a few weeks ago. It's a good account of what WWI was like.

  38. I once years ago knew the author the book "If You Service." I met him in 1989 and his book is such an elegant anti-war book all while being a biography of his time in action.

  39. Remarque didn't find out what happened to his sister until after the war ended. He dedicated his 1952 book "Der Funke Leben" (the spark of life) about german concentration camps to the memory of his sister. The dedication ("To the memory of my Sister Elfriede“) was included in the English version that was published but was omitted from the German version.

  40. I saw an interview with an old German soldier on YouTube and he mentioned this so called law that the Germans had, it’s called “Sippenhaft”

  41. Banning books that are critical of your home country as unpatriotic is a practice that one political party in-particular would like to do

  42. TIL about Hitler'sVolksgerichtshof, or The People's Court...Maybe the TV show "The People's Court" should have done research before naming the show.

  43. So this is where he got the idea “The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don’t kid yourself. When they say they don’t care about their lives, you have to take out their families.” -Trump

  44. Also North Korea, which has a 3 generations of punishment thing where if they want to get you on whatever charge, they'll also send your children and grandchildren, parents, siblings, and spouse to concentration camps.

  45. Why don’t we ever see photos or quotes from Nazis who LOVED slaughtering the innocent? There had to be a million of them that just loved gasing and burning and shooting people on face value. We never hear their words. Just explanations for how Hitler did not know the full extent of the holocaust, and everyone who perpetrated it just did it from a desk with pen and paper. Because their superiors ordered it. But I don’t buy any of that. Everyone who wore a Nazi uniform had some kind of murder fetish.

  46. Oh, there's plenty of that out there. But there are 2 kinds of villains: the mwahaha villains and the Dolores Umbridge "I deeply regret you making me have to do this terrible thing" villains. Everyone gets that the mwahaha villains are villains. Many still think the "oh so sad I must torture you but I'm only following the law" villains aren't villains, so they get most of the attention because of the need to expose them and others like them. They are the banality of evil. They are the cheerful men with 2.3 kids living in suburban enclaves of Cape Town who liked taking long walks on the beach and hanging out with friends drinking beer, who also went to work every day and tortured to death anti-apartheid activists.

  47. at no point did America hate Nazis when you inspired them with your segregation of black people and vicious treatment of the indigenous population

  48. It's why when you hear certain people say 'we should go after their families' it's sort of easy to say.. that's a really nazi thing to say

  49. Holocaust does not equal modern liberals. Nazis were as right wing as right wing can be. They even exterminated the Socio-democratic (Weimar German equivalent of todays democrats) party and the Communist party.

  50. What's wild is that, by 1942, the German high command knew they had lost. So it isn't like Scholz did anything, other than state the truth.

  51. That's a pretty poetic translation of "Ihr Bruder ist uns leider entwischt—Sie aber werden uns nicht entwischen"

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