Why do paul and kropp scoff at the term Kantorek uses?
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Kantorek refers to his former students as "the Iron Youth". Paul and Albert scoff at the label because of the irony of it all. Kantorek glorifies them as indestructible and valiant. The reality is much different. Young men turn into scared boys and die by the thousands. They are not made of iron, they are merely flesh and blood: virgins with rifles, just trying to survive.