All Quiet on the Western Front

by: Erich Maria Remarque

Chapter Eight

1

A word of command has made these silent figures our enemies; a word of command might transform them into our friends.

2

On a foggy morning another of the Russians is buried; almost every day one of them dies. I am on guard during the burial. The prisoners saying a chorale, they sing in parts, and it sounds almost as if there were no voices, but an organ far away on the moor.

3

He will stand at his desk folding and pasting and cutting until twelve o’clock at night. At eight o’clock in the evening he will eat some miserable rubbish they get in exchange for their food tickets, then he will take a powder for his headache and work on. In order to cheer him up a bit I tell him a few stories, soldiers’ jokes and the like, about generals and sergeant-majors.