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The former postman

The former postman - The former postman whose name...

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Unformatted text preview: The former postman, whose name means "heaven-knocker," overexerts his authority and is reported by the son of a local magistrate. As a result, the tormentor is sent to the front to fight alongside the men he intimidated with his petty drills and sadistic punishments. Adorned with a twitching red mustache and aware that his role as drill instructor leaves him open to a vengeful shot in the back, he opens the way for insubordination by pressing veteran soldiers for meaningless parade-ground courtesies. Paul labels Himmelstoss' zealotry a "raging book of army regulations." The comeuppance for Himmelstoss provides the novel with a rare instance of poetic justice. After a drubbing by Tjaden and his pals, Himmelstoss continues to lord his authority through complaint to the commandant. His strutting ends when he faces a bombardment that kills officer and recruit alike. the commandant....
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