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How All Quiet on the Western Front film went from initially being banned in Germany to Netflix smash hit

Anish Vij

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How All Quiet on the Western Front film went from initially being banned in Germany to Netflix smash hit

All Quiet on the Western Front went from being banned in Germany to slowly becoming a Netflix smash hit. Check out the epic trailer below:

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The story of what's being called the 'best anti-war movie' ever is based on the bestselling 1928 Erich Maria Remarque novel of the same name.

All Quiet on the Western Front follows the gripping account of a 17-year-old German soldier on the Western Front of World War I.

The group of soldiers experience 'how the initial euphoria of war turns into desperation and fear as they fight for their lives, and each other, in the trenches'.

Although it's seemingly very popular on Netflix at the moment, the original 1930 version of the US film was banned in Germany at the time.

In December that year, Berlin’s elegant Mozart Hall welcomed a second screening of the film, while the book happened to be an international bestseller.

However, as soon as the movie started rolling, Nazi leader Joseph Goebbels led a gang of extremists into the auditorium, where they released stink bombs, sneezing powder and white mice.

All Quiet on the Western Front follows the gripping account of a 17-year-old German soldier on the Western Front of World War I. Credit: Netflix
All Quiet on the Western Front follows the gripping account of a 17-year-old German soldier on the Western Front of World War I. Credit: Netflix

Referring to the event in his diary, Goebbels wrote: "Within ten minutes, the cinema resembles a madhouse.

"The police are powerless. The embittered crowd takes out its anger on the J**s.

"The box office outside is under siege. Window panes are broken. Thousands of people enjoy the spectacle.

"The screening is abandoned, as is the next one. We have won."

As a result of the rising power of the Nazi party, the Supreme Board of Censors in Germany banned the film.

It's believed the human vulnerability shown by German soldiers in the movie was something that Nazis were not in line with, as they classed the book as defeatist and unpatriotic.

There's also a theory that Nazis thought German author Erich Maria Remarque was Jewish.

Although it's seemingly very popular on Netflix at the moment, the original 1930 version of the US film was banned in Germany at the time. Credit: Netflix
Although it's seemingly very popular on Netflix at the moment, the original 1930 version of the US film was banned in Germany at the time. Credit: Netflix

Remarque left Germany a day after Hitler’s rise to power in January 1933.

The Nazis' grudge against the author didn't stop there as they tragically arrested his anti-Nazi sister Elfriede Scholz and had her beheaded.

Hanns Brodnitz was the Jewish manager of the Mozart Hall who dared to screen All Quiet on the Western Front. He was murdered in Auschwitz in 1944.

Over 10 years after the war ended, Remarque recalled the disrupted film screening, writing of the mob: "None of them were older than 20, none of them could have been in the 1914-1918 war.

"None of them knew that, 10 years later, they would be in a war and most of them would be dead before they would reach 30."

All Quiet on the Western Front is available to stream on Netflix now.

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Topics: Politics, Netflix, TV and Film

Anish Vij
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