Kat is hit by shrapnel at the end of the story, leaving him with a smashed shin. Paul carries him back to camp on his back, only to discover upon their arrival that a stray splinter had hit Kat in the back of the head and killed him on the way. He is thus the last of Paul's close friends to die in battle. It is Kat's death that eventually makes Bäumer careless whether he survives the war or not, but that he can face the rest of his life without fear. "Let the months and the years come, they can take nothing from me, they can take nothing more. I am so alone, and so without hope that I can confront them without fear."
Paul writes a letter to his friend, the sole survivor of their class, who is now an amputee. After finishing the letter, Paul walks through the trench checking on the younger soldiers, having taken up Kat's position as a mentor. He spots a bird and begins to sketch it, and when the bird starts to fly away Paul stands up to see where it went, exposing himself above the trench parapet. A lone sniper's shot rings out, killing him. A telegram with the film's title is shown to the viewer, revealing a segment from a report issued by the German High Command, only weeks before the war's end.
(9-12): Relates personal response to the text with that seemingly intended by the author.
Grade level: 9-12
Subject area: world history
Understands the search for peace and stability throughout the world in the 1920s and 1930s.
Understands how the emergence of new art, literature, music, and scientific theories influenced society in the early 20th century (., the impact of innovative movements in art, architecture, and literature, such as Cubism, Surrealism, Expressionism, Socialist Realism, and jazz; reflections of war in such movements as Dadaism and in the literary works of Remarque, Spender, Brooke, and Hemingway; the major themes of writers of the "Lost Generation" in the post-World War I era; prominent musicians and composers of the first half of the century and the cultural impact of their music around the world; how Freud's psychoanalytic method and theories of the unconscious changed views of human motives and human nature).