Do Franz, Tjaden and Albert Kropp Die in All Quiet on the Western Front?

Image Credit: Reiner Bajo/Netflix

Netflix’s ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ is a World War I drama that follows the story of a group of German soldiers who spend more than a year in the trenches. The protagonist of the story is Paul Baumer. The story begins with him and his friends as bright-eyed teenagers who are excited to fight for their country. However, once they arrive on the scene, they discover that the picture is very different from what they had expected. Each day brings a new challenge, and with all of them thrust into the heat of the war, death looms on all of their fates. If you are wondering what happens to Paul’s friends, then here’s what you should know. SPOILERS AHEAD

What Happens to Tjaden?

Image Credit: Reiner Bajo/Netflix

War claims a lot of things from the soldiers and messes up them so deeply that the thought of going back to the normal world starts to feel alien to them. Still, it is something that they look forward to, with the hopes of finally leaving behind their hellish surroundings and going back to living in peace. For Tjaden, however, the peaceful future doesn’t hold much promise. During a battle, one of his legs is severely injured. Shrapnel has lodged itself around his thigh, and even though Tjaden can’t see his own wound, he knows that it is beyond repair. He knows that the doctor will most probably amputate his leg.

While going home is something that Tjaden had been looking forward to all this while, he knows that he won’t survive back home as an amputee. He won’t be able to go back to his job in the police department, and he has no idea what he will do with his life without that. His situation will also make it worse for his family, who will have to take care of him, on top of the other things that they’ll already be burdened with. All these thoughts swarm Tjaden, and with all the death around him, his mental state takes a plunge. He decides not to live like that. When his friends bring him soup to eat, he uses a fork to repeatedly stab himself in the neck and dies.

What Happens to Kropp?

Image Credit: Reiner Bajo/Netflix

Like almost all of his friends, Albert Kropp too falls to the cruelty of war. In the beginning, like Paul and his other friends, he had been very excited to march into France and invade it for his country. Soon, however, he comes face to face with the reality of war. He tries to find small things, like the picture of a woman on a poster in some obscure place, to lift his spirits. In the end, however, the war claims his life on the battlefield.

After a long time, the German army finally gains some ground when Paul and his fellow soldiers take over the French trench. Just when they think that they have won the battle, the Allied reinforcements arrive in the form of tanks and flamethrowers. The Germans are forced to retreat, but most of them die in the process. Some are crushed under the tanks, others fall to the bullets. A lot of them are burned alive by the flamethrowers.

While retreating to their side, Kropp and Paul leave together. They hide behind a tank that they’d taken over, but the situation is too chaotic for them, or anyone else to turn the tide. Paul is dragged away by Kat, while Kropps is left behind. From a distance, a helpless Paul sees his childhood friend surrender to the enemy, beg for mercy, and then get burnt to death.

What Happens to Franz?

The battle that claims Kropp is also the one that separates Paul from another friend. When the tanks arrive, all German soldiers try to get out of the trenches. In the mayhem, Franz and Paul are separated when the latter gets out of the trench and runs towards the German side of the battle, while Franz moves in the opposite direction with other soldiers. This is the last time Paul sees Franz, but he finds something later, which hints that Franz might not have survived the battle.

When Paul finds Tjaden with the injured after the battle, the latter gives him the scarf that Franz had received from the French girl he had fallen in love with. Knowing that Franz wouldn’t have separated from the scarf and seeing Tjaden dejected over the fate of their friend, Paul deduces that Franz is dead. Even though we don’t see it happen, unlike every other death in the film, it is unlikely that Franz somehow survived. The battle was very brutal and from what happened with Kropp, it looks like the enemy was in no mood to take survivors. While we can’t help but hold on to the hope that at least one of those seventeen-year-old boys got to get out alive, the fact that the story is about an actual war where plot twists don’t happen simply for the sake of it, it is fair to assume that Franz is, in fact, dead.

Read More: Where Was Netflix’s All Quiet on the Western Front Filmed?