A Comparison Between Harold Krebs and Paul Baümer

The life of Krebs and Baumer is unalike, but not too different. A Soldier’s Home was written with the intention of describing someone’s life coming home from the war, and All Quiet on the Western Front was written to show the world how indifferent German soldiers are from the rest. When we start to compare both stories, we realize that these two stories were written in the perspective of two very different soldiers who fought on opposing sides, one being in the US and the other being in Germany. In Baumer’s story, we read that Baumer tends to be more empathetic than everyone else and even starts pitying the French and British soldiers who he had killed or let die. However in Krebs’ story, we find out that he actually found a liking for the war and doesn’t see life ever with the same excitement he had in the war. Something I have noticed in each story is the fact that both of the soldiers had little or no emotion left for their families due to the rough experiences they went through in the war. In Baumer’s story, he tries to relive his memories of his childhood when he shuffles through his belonging while staying at his house rather than Krebs’ story where he was a bit more accepting of change when he started noticing how mature everyone he knew had become. A major challenge both Krebs and Baumer faced while returning from the campsite is sharing their experiences from the war. Baumer’s Father was eager to know his experiences in the war while Krebs wanted to be the center of attention and even started making up lies about the war, even though he felt that it wasn’t right. Krebs and Baumer have grown up and lived in very two different countries at the time where one hated another yet, they lived through very similar experiences during and after the war. This is what I believe All Quiet on the Western Front was trying to communicate throughout this time, that two soldiers no matter how different they are share many of the same experiences throughout the war.

Leave a Reply