Erich Maria Remarque

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Jutts Else (Jeanne) Sambona

Erich Maria Remarque (born Erich Paul Remark; 22 June 1898 – 25 September 1970) was a German author, most known for his anti-war novel All Quiet on the Western Front.


Life and work

Erich Maria Remarque was born on 22 June 1898 in a working-class family in the German city of Osnabrück, the son of Peter Franz Remark (b. 14 June 1867, Kaiserswerth) and Anna Maria Remark, née Stallknecht (b. 21 November 1871, Katernberg). At the age of 16 he made his first attempts at writing: essays, poems, and the beginnings of a novel that was finished later and published in 1920 as The Dream Room (Die Traumbude).

At 18, Remarque was conscripted into the army. On 12 June 1917, he was transferred to the Western Front, 2nd Company, Reserves, Field Depot of the 2nd Guards Reserve Division at Hem-Lenglet. On 26 June he was posted to the 15th Reserve Infantry Regiment, 2nd Company of Trench Battalion Bethe, and was stationed between Torhout and Houthulst. On 31 July he was wounded by shrapnel in the left leg, right arm and neck, and was repatriated to an army hospital in Germany where he spent the rest of the war.[1]

In 1924, he started to write his last name as Remarque, which had been the family name until his grandfather changed it to Remark in the 19th century. He had already been using the middle name 'Maria' since November 1922. He worked at a number of different jobs, including librarian, businessman, teacher, journalist and editor. His first paid writing job was as a technical writer for the Continental Rubber Company, a German tire manufacturer.[2] His first marriage was to the actress Ilse Jutta Zambona in 1925.[3] Their marriage was stormy and unfaithful on both sides. After a divorce, they remarried each other in 1938.

In 1927 Remarque made a second literary start with the novel Station at the Horizon (Station am Horizont), which was serialized in the sports journal "Sport im Bild" for which Remarque was working. It was published in book form only in 1998. His best known work, All Quiet on the Western Front (Im Westen nichts Neues) was written in a few months in 1927, but Remarque was not immediately able to find a publisher.[4] The novel, published in 1929, described the experiences of German soldiers during World War I. A number of similar works followed; in simple, emotive language they described wartime and the postwar years.

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