Dealing with Difference in Education
Part of the Ethnic and Intercommunity Conflict Series book series (EAI)
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In 1929 Erich Maria Remarque published ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ which went on to become one of the most influential pieces of fiction to appear in the interwar period. The book is based on Remarque’s personal experience of trench warfare in World War One and, in chronicling the cruelty, horror and uselessness of war, provided a generation with the clearest expression of an anti-militaristic and anti-war message. The teacher, Kantorek, makes his first appearance in the novel when he cajoles and lectures his class of pupils until they all volunteer for active service. Following the jolt the young recruits receive when they actually experience the front-line, the central character of the book muses:
Naturally we couldn’t blame Kantorek for this. … There were thousands of Kantoreks, all of whom were convinced that they were acting for the best — in a way that cost them nothing.
KeywordsSocial Harmony Mass Murder Interwar Period Dialogic Process Divide Society
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© Tony Gallagher 2004