Vocabulary: torch = flashlight
From which class or group in European society did Paul Bäumer come? What had he been doing
before he joined the military?
Why did Paul go to war? Did he volunteer or was he drafted? Why did his friend Haie Westhus
join up?
Who did Paul blame for his situation? Why did the rest of German society go along with the
Who benefited from war, according to Paul and his buddies?
Did this novel take place before or after the Battle of the Somme? How can you tell?
Keegan speaks about the class divisions in the British military: did Paul and his friends
experience these as well? How?
Compare Keegan’s and Remarque’s discussion of military discipline and authority relations
between officers and men. How did they differ, and why?
After his combat experiences, how did Paul relate to civilians such as his parents or people in
his hometown? What about the Kaiser or French civilians?
In contrast, how did Paul feel about his battlefield comrades?
How were Paul’s relationships with women shaped by his military experiences?
Did Paul hate the French, the British, the Russians? Who among them? How did Paul describe
the Russian prisoners? Gerard Duval, (the Frenchman he killed)?
Describe the impact of industrialized weaponry on soldiers experience of warfare.
What evidence does the text contain to indicate Germany was losing the war? What was the
meaning of Paul’s assertion, “We are not beaten?”
How did Paul envision his return to civilian life?
Paul was killed in October 1918. When was the Armistice?

What would Keegan have to say about the types of wounds that were killing Paul Bäumer’s
friends? How was this reflected in the attitudes of medical personnel in the novel? How did this
high mortality affect soldiers’ relations with doctors and other medical personnel?
Is it legitimate to use fiction to understand historical events? What can it tell us, and what are
its pitfalls?