All calm on the west front it went from being banned in Germany to slowly becoming a huge hit on Netflix. Watch the epic trailer below:
The story of what is called the “greatest anti-war film” is based on Erich Maria Remarque’s 1928 novel of the same name, a bestseller.
The group of soldiers experiences ‘the initial euphoria of war turning to despair and fear as they fight for their lives, and each other, in the trenches’.
Although apparently very popular on Netflix at the moment, the original 1930 version of the American film was banned in Germany at the time.
In December of that year, the elegant Mozart Hall in Berlin hosted a second screening of the film, while the book proved to be an international bestseller.
However, as soon as the film began shooting, Nazi leader Joseph Goebbels led a gang of extremists into the auditorium, where they hurled stink bombs, sneezing powder, and white mice.
Referring to the event in his diary, Goebbels wrote: “Within ten minutes, the cinema looks like a madhouse.
“The police are powerless. The embittered crowd take their anger out on the J**s.
“The outside ticket office is under siege. The window panes are broken. Thousands of people enjoy the show.
“The projection is abandoned, just like the next one. We have won.”
As a result of the growing power of the Nazi party, the German Supreme Board of Censors banned the film.
The human vulnerability displayed by the German soldiers in the film was believed to be something the Nazis disagreed with, as they classified the book as defeatist and unpatriotic.
There is also a theory that the Nazis thought the German author Erich Maria Remarque was Jewish.
Remarque left Germany one day after Hitler’s rise to power in January 1933.
The Nazis’ grudge against the author did not stop there, as his anti-Nazi sister Elfriede Scholz was tragically arrested and beheaded.
Hanns Brodnitz was the Jewish manager of the Mozart Hall who dared to project All calm on the west front. He was murdered at Auschwitz in 1944.
More than 10 years after the war ended, Remarque recalled the interrupted film showing, 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 from now they would be in a war and most of them would be dead before they reached 30.”
All calm on the west front is available to stream on Netflix now.