Why was censoring All Quiet on the Western Front bad for the people?Why was censoring All Quiet on the Western Front bad for the people? 

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Jen Sambdman eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Honestly, any censorship is a poor action. Someone somewhere felt as though his/her opinions warranted being print. To censor a book, movie, song, or any medium of expression and communication is a travesty. All that does is reflect the idea that we need to, as a society, protect its members from the ugly, the horrors, the inappropriate when in all fairness, if it was written about it is obviously out there somewhere. To shelter is to handicap and having a handicapped society is the detriment and inevitable folding of free-thinking, opinions, free-form expression and diversity. We also must keep in mind of who is censoring whom here. Who WANTS the book censored (Nazis)? Why do you think they were censoring? What were they trying to hide and why? You have to answer those questions first. Now, I do personally agree that we should protect the very young innocence, but we must bear in mind that at some point they will see and experience everything the world has to offer. If we can introduce something to them when they are old enough to finally have a cognitive conversation about it, that is probably the best. The longer we wait, the more of a shock that is to whomever experiences it. In my opinion, the censorship of the novel was bad in respect to the fact that it is literature and literature is meant to be read by those who can understand and handle it. It is also meant for those who may not understand the content yet, but it will help them to learn.

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul and the other men are critical of their country, the conditions under which they fought, and particularly the officers of the German army. A country like Germany in the 1930s would not tolerate such treasonous things and it is not in the least surprising that the book was banned. Just as the people in the book were deceived about the harsh and ugly realities of the war, Germans were deceived because they were isolated from truths such as those presented in this novel.

teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The novel and the film were banned in the 1930s by the Nazi party in Germany to protect the image of the country.  Banning books for this reason is meant in some deluded way to protect the citizens through ignorance, but attempting to hide any visions of the past rob citizens of their rights to participate in their government.  Censorship of All Quiet on the Western Front is bad for people because the truth (although fictional) is taken away from them.

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

World War I's gas warfare had horrific consequences, and the Nazis did not want the Germans to think of the multitudes who met brutal deaths.  One wonders, too, if the Germans did not want to prevent people from considering the horrors of gassing and the indignity of soldiers in ground warfare. 

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