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in Southern California
Maria Remarque (1898-1970)
In 1916, at age 18 and just out of school, Erich Maria Remarque was
drafted to serve at the German front. After World War I he worked
as a sports journalist. He married Jutta (Jeanne) Zambona in 1925;
their marriage lasted until 1932. He became world famous almost overnight
with the publication of his novel depicting the horrors of World War
I, Im Westen nichts Neues (1929; All Quiet on the
Western Front). His best-selling novel sold 3.5 million copies
within eighteen months. His novel was made into a successful American
film in 1930 directed by Lewis Milestone.
left Germany for Switzerland in 1932. His books were banned by the
Nazis in 1933. In 1939 he went to the United States where he was naturalized
in 1947. In March 1940 he went to Mexico City to get his immigration
papers in order and to cross over the border with his estranged wife.
He lived first at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel and later rented a two-story
house in Westwood (owned by Nils Bagge, Danish husband of singer Gitta
Alpar). Before and after his years in Los Angeles, he had a stormy
affair with Marlene Dietrich. After the U.S. entered the war and alien
Germans were given an 8:00 pm curfew, Remarque moved into a bungalow
in the park of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills
on Wilshire Boulevard. When he lived at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel
he began to write Arc de Triomphe (1946; Arch of
Triumph). The book was a big success, selling over 2 million
copies in the U.S. alone. He moved to New York in 1942, living at
the Sherry-Netherland on Fifth Avenue. In September 1943 returned
to Los Angeles for a short time to live at Beverly Wilshire. After
his return to New York, he moved in 1944 to the Ambassador Hotel on
Park Avenue, living at his hotel suite that he kept from 1939 until
1953. He later rented an apartment at 320 East 57th Street which played
a prominent role in his novel Shadows in Paradise.
1948 he returned to Europe, living at his villa in Porto Ronco near
Ascona, Switzerland. He spent the next decade traveling between New
York, Hollywood, and Europe. In 1958 he married again, taking the
American film star, Paulette Goddard (formerly married to Charlie
Chaplin), as his second wife. He continued to write several other
novels, most of them dealing with victims of the political upheavals
of Europe during World Wars I and II.
Years in Southern
Ruth Marton. Mein Freund Boni: Erinnerungen an Erich Maria Remarque.
Cologne: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 1993.
C.R. Owen. Erich Maria Remarque: a Critical Bio-Bibliography.
Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1984.
Hans Wagener. Understanding Erich Maria Remarque. Columbia,
S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1991.
deutschsprachiger Literatur des 20. Jahrhunderts. Edited by
Manfred Brauneck. Reinbeck bei Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1991.
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