Erich Maria Remarque: The Last Romantic
For more than seventy years Erich Maria Remarque’s startlingly realistic and intensely moving anti-war novel All Quiet on the Western Front has remained a worldwide best seller. A political and literary sensation when it was first published, Remarque’s masterpiece was banned and burned in the 1930s by the Nazis. Remarque was forced to flee Germany, and eventually, in 1939, he immigrated to America. Haunted by the horrors of Nazi Germany and embittered by his exile from the country he loved, Remarque strove to protect his privacy. In Hollywood glamour, in wealth, in the fame gained by successive hits like Arch of Triumph, Remarque hid his torment and buried his fears. Love, too, held its woes for Remarque. He was tortured by the infidelities of his first wife, whom he divorced and then remarried to save her from the Nazis. A turbulent, long-running affair with Marlene Dietrich, who helped him escape war-torn Europe, was followed by romantic liaisons with some of the film world’s most seductive stars like Greta Garbo, Dolores de Rio, Maureen O’Sullivan, and Paulette Goddard, who became his second wife. The portrait that emerges is as extravagantly lit by romance as it is shadowed by anguish.
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