How was Himmelstoss received when he arrived at the front?

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Himmelstoss is portrayed as a cruel martinet, a parade ground soldier who is abusive to the young men during their training. When he arrives at the front, however, Paul observes that he quickly discovers that "the front line isn't a parade ground." The soldiers, especially Tjaden, greet him with hostility. Tjaden calls him a "dirty hound" and refuses to treat him with the respect to which Himmelstoss feels entitled. The impossibly arrogant Himmelstoss storms off to report Tjaden to his superiors as the soldiers laugh. Tjaden receives only a few day's arrest and a "long sermon," and Himmelstoss is rebuked by the officers, who remind him that he is not on the parade ground anymore. Later, Paul encounters Himmelstoss cowering in a foxhole during an attack.

Source: Erich-Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front (New York: Ballentine Books, 1982) 80-91.


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