Was it Kemmerich or Himmelstoss?
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No, they blame the big people in charge. They blame the leaders of Germany, France, Britain....For pitting young men, who have more in common than they do with these leaders, against each other,
Albert simply states,"almost all of us are simple folk. And in France, too, the majority of men are laborers, workmen, or poor clerks. Now just why would a French blacksmith or a French shoemaker want to attack us? No, its merely the rulers. I had never seen a Frenchman before I came here, and it will be just the same with the majority of Frenchmen as regards us. They weren't asked about it any more then we were."
Paul feels that if these leaders want to fight,"we should let the leaders fight it out themselves in a ring."
Jill the major theme of this whole book is how these boys have more in common with their enemy than their own leaders. Paul ruminates on this for pages.
I think you could add Kantorek, their teacher, as an extension of the propaganda machine that set them up to fight as well. In my opinion Himmelstoss was merely a postman who let the little power he has go to his head. He had nothing to do with drafting these kids or propaganda.
Aslan, had I not been given two names to choose from; I wouldn't have chosen one. Now, I am going to explain who the boys felt set them up for the war.
Paul and his four friends went to school together, they enlisted, and all of them did so with the encouragement of Prof. Kantorek. They were 19 years old, they joined the army on the same day, and they trusted the propaganda of their school teacher.... who "Paul and his friends blame for setting them up to fight in the war."
Paul states that Kantorek's "crime," is that he was supposed to be someone they could trust. His encouragement to the boys that they voluntarily enlist in the army and fight, makes his words as meaningless as the war.
Your answer also fits, but it is not the answer to the question as it was asked.