In Chapter 6 of All Quiet on the Western Front, for what two souvenirs do the soldiers risk their lives to retrieve from the battlefield?

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teachertaylor | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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In Chapter 6, the German forces are suffering heavy losses and many men around Paul lose their lives in battle. The soldiers dive into the trenches to retrieve bands from fired shells and slips of silk from the parachutes to keep as souvenirs. The men see this as a form of entertainment and a way to distract themselves from all the deaths that are around them. They keep the items because they believe they may one day come in handy as items of trade. By this point in the war, the men do not really see their actions as risks to their lives. Paul describes the "wasteland" of the soldiers' lives, and many believe that all hope is already lost.