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Paul Bäumer, a young German schoolboy, along with his friends, is inspired by his schoolmaster to "save the Fatherland" and joins the Kaiser's forces. Their illusions are soon dispelled, however, by the cruel realities of battle, relieved only by a brief romantic interlude with some French farm girls and the humorous interjections of Katz and Tjaden. When Paul, the only survivor of the group, returns home, he finds the professor still haranguing his young scholars to join the conflict; and when Paul denounces this attitude, he is proclaimed a coward by the youths. Tiring of the false impression of war at home, he returns to the front to instruct his new comrades in warfare. As the sole survivor of this group also, Paul reaches over the top of a trench to catch a butterfly and is killed by an enemy sniper. ... Quiet reigns on the front lines.