Erich Maria Remarque (1898-1970) was born to a family of modest means in the German city of Osnabruck and started writing at the age of sixteen. In 1916, aged 18, he was conscripted into the German army. At the age of 19 he was seriously wounded on the Western Front, repatriated to Germany where he spent the rest of the war. After the First World War Remarque became a teacher and in 1929 his novel about his war experiences, All Quiet on the Western Front, was published in Germany. Remarque' book was attacked by Adolf Hitler and Josef Goebbels, and after the Nazi Party gained power Remarque decided to move to Switzerland, where he completed The Road Back. This book, about a group of ex-soldiers trying to live in a defeated Germany, was also criticised and All Quiet and The Road Back were banned and destroyed by the Nazis. On the outbreak of the Second World War Remarque emigrated to the United States and became a naturalized citizen, but returned to Switzerland in 1948, where he spent the rest of his life.
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