All Quiet on the Western Front
How we cite our quotes:
Haie looked round once again and said wrathfully, satisfied and rather mysteriously:
"Revenge is black-pudding." (3.78-79)
What in the h-e-double hockey sticks does Haie mean when he says, "Revenge is black-pudding"? We know that blood pudding is a delicacy in several cultures involving congealed blood in sausage form (a.k.a. blood pudding). In German this delicacy is known as blutwurst. Maybe Haie means something to the effect of "What goes around comes around." Hmmmm.
"You limp, will you get out – you hound, you skunk, sneak out of it, would you?" [Himmelstoss's] eye becomes glassy, I knock his head against the wall – "You cow" – I kick him in the ribs – "You swine" – I push him toward the door and shove him out head first. (6.148)
We're not quite sure what's up with the animal imagery at this moment, but it's clear that Paul is none too pleased with Himmelstoss's plan to hide in a dugout during a bombardment rather than fight. The man who was supposed to have taught the young soldiers about bravery and about what it means to be a soldier is the greatest coward of them all.
[Mittelstaedt to Paul:] "Territorial Kantorek, two years ago you preached us into enlisting; and among us, there was one, Joseph Behm, who didn't want to enlist. He was killed three months before he would have been called up in the ordinary way. If it had not been for you he would have lived just that much longer. And now: Dismiss. You will hear from me later." (7.203)
The true enemies of Paul and his comrades are those that trained and taught them. These men in power seem to be universally corrupt – or perhaps Paul only chooses to focus on examples of corrupt leaders. The soldiers' greatest joy is finding ways to hold power over these leaders.