What was the reaction of Nazi Germany to the novel All Quiet on the Western Front?

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque is a novel about the horrors of trench warfare during World War I and the demoralizing effects of war on its hero, Paul Baumer. Remarque, the author, had fought in World War I and had suffered injuries as a result. In 1929, he published the novel (which had earlier been published in installments), and the book went on to sell over one million copies in Germany. 

However, as the Nazis came to power in the early 1930s, they hated the book for its portrayal of the futility and destructiveness of war. Its message clearly contradicted their nationalist call for a stronger, more militarized Germany that would again turn to war to regain glory for the fatherland. Nazis burned copies of the book and stormed the theater in which the movie was first shown in Berlin in 1930. The book was banned, as it was considered a betrayal of the soldiers who fought for Germany in World War I, and Remarque, stripped of his German citizenship, had to leave the country. Anti-war activists around the world, however, celebrated the book, and it was eventually translated into many languages.

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