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His eldest sister, Erna, happily greets him, but when she calls out for their mother, Paul feels weak and almost paralyzed.
When he enters he is shy and unsure of himself.
"For a moment I am shy and lower my head, then I take off my helmet and look up. Yes, it is my eldest sister."
He feels detached.
"I sit by her bed, and through the window the chestnut trees in the beer garden opposite glow in brown and gold. I breathe deeply and say over to myself:--"You are at home, you are at home." But a sense of strangeness will not leave me, I cannot feel at home amongst these things. There is my mother, there is my sister, there my case of butterflies, and there the mahogany piano--but I am not myself there. There is a distance, a veil between us."
All Quiet on the Western Front