The sensitive twenty-year-old narrator reaches manhood through three years of service as a soldier in the second company of the German army during World War I. His loss of innocence during the story is the focus of the author's anti-war sentiment.
He is the company commander and is regarded as a magnificent front-line officer. His heroism is shown through his knocking out an advancing flame thrower.
He is a peasant from Oldenburg, who worries about his wife alone in their farm. He grows particularly nostalgic when the cherry blossoms are in bloom, and he hates to hear the horses bellowing in agony. After he deserts, he is captured and never heard from again. As in the case of most of the characters in the novel, he is another example of someone without a future who simply exists in a meaningless...
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