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Today's quote:

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

ANZAC Day 2017

 

This book is to be neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped its shells, were destroyed by the war."

With this epigraph begins "All Quiet on the Western Front" ("Im Westen nichts Neues"), the most powerful anti-war book ever written. Its author, Erich Maria Remarque, left Germany after the government, on the initiative of the Nazi propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, banned and publicly burned all his books. Read more here.

Both the book and the film are enduring testaments to the sheer idiocy of a war between three cousins - Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, King George V of England, and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia were all cousins with each other: Wilhelm and George were first cousins, George and Nicholas were also first cousins, and Wilhelm and Nicholas were third cousins - that meaninglessly pitted young men of the same generation but different uniforms against one another.

Lest we forget, read Margaret MacMillan's essay "The Rhyme of History - Lessons of the Great War" which compares the world today with the one that was shattered in 1914.


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