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In an early chapter of All Quiet on the Western Front, the men have returned from the front and are eating together. They reflect on the nature of war and their training (or lack thereof). They then talk about Himmelstoss, the man who is charge of their training. They hate Himmelstoss because he is really hard on all the men--Himmelstoss continually puts them through physically gruelling tasks and then berates them verbally when they falter. The soldiers do not respect Himmelstoss though because he himself has never actually fought in the war. Here, Kat says that small men are always like this: they must be overly cruel to make up for what they lack in physical stature. Kat says that rulers around the world are like this also, and that the smallest men end up in charge of great things like wars. Paul agrees.
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