Remember me - echoes from the lost generations

All Quiet on the Western Front
Erich Maria Remarque
First published 1928

“A bell sounds between the explosions, gongs, and metal clappers warning everyone – Gas – Gas – Gas… These first minutes with the mask decide between life and death: is it air-tight? I remember the awful sights in the hospital: the gas patients who in day-long suffocation cough up their burnt lungs in clots. Cautiously, the mouth applied to the valve, I breathe. The gas still creeps into the ground and sinks into all hollows. Like a big soft jelly-fish it floats into our shell-hole and lolls there obscenely…Inside the gas mask my head booms and roars – it is nigh bursting. My lungs are tight, they breathe always the same hot, used-up air, the veins on my temple are swollen. I feel I am suffocating.”

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