All Quiet on the Wester Front, Letter Home from Paul Baumer...Good If
I have just received your letter about considering joining the German army and fighting in this god awful war. From my tone already you should notice that I completely disagree with your thinking and am going to try my hardest to persuade you not to come out and fight. Just like you I had once fallen for all of the propaganda going around Germany. An old teacher I used to know named Kantorich had filled my and many of my classmates heads with patriotic reasons to why we should join the army. We eventually gave in to this crazy man and signed in. From the very first battle I have been in all I have been around is horror, bodies tangling into unnatural shapes, blood and tears everywhere, along with watching close friends of mine die horrible deaths. One of my classmates named Joseph Behm was the most reluctant to give into Kantorek's pressure, he died a very slow and horrible death. Another close friend of mine had received a leg wound and, after treatment, took a day or two to realize that he had his leg amputated. Soon after, he had died also. I have been around many horrific battles where I have found myself diving into unburied graves to just stay alive. Over and over again I see men turned into a mush of blood and splintered bones and I wonder when it will be my turn to get it. Tobacco and card games seem to be my only salvation to maintain my sanity. The only hope that I have seen demonstrated out of any of my fellow soldiers has been scarce talk about who will do what after the war. I personally feel that my peers and I have had the rest of our lives stolen from us. Even if I do get out of this nightmare I realize that I have no established life to come back to, my old hobby in poetry has escaped me as it seems that all of this awfulness has made me a hardened man, ignorant to all of the old interests that I had. I hope that this is enough evidence to show you that war is not as beautiful and glory filled as many people make it out to be. So far this has been the worst experience of my life, and I know that if I live the memories of this experience will stick with me like stink on .cheese and haunt me every night. I envy you and your freedom brother but at the same time enjoy the fact that you are safe at home. Please don't put anymore distress onto my soul by participating in this hellish conflict.
Much Love From Your Brother,