The Protagonists

Born into a Catholic family, at eighteen years he was conscripted into the First World War, where he was wounded several times . In 1929 he published his most famous work, “All Quiet on the Western Front .” The novel showed the cruelty of war through the eyes of a nineteen year old German soldier . In 1933, after coming to power, the Nazis burned and banned his works in Germany . Remarque left Germany in 1931 and moved to Porto Ronco . During the follow- ing years, he traveled on and off, and lived in the United States . Beginning in 1948, he would again call Porto Ronco home, and in 1958 married Hollywood film star Paulette Goddard (former wife of Charlie Chaplin) . He died in 1970 in Locarno at the age of 72 years .

Pauline Marion Levy was born in 1910 . Her parents divorced when she was still young . Her uncle Charles helped her land her first job as a model, and thanks in part to her stunning beauty, later as an actress . At sixteen she married a much older, wealthy businessman . The marriage would not work out and they divorced in 1930, with Goddard receiving a substantial alimony settlement . In 1932 she met Charlie Chaplin, with whom she formed an artistic and romantic partnership that lasted eight years . In 1940 she met the German writer Erich Maria Remarque, author of the famous “All Quiet on the Western Front .” They married in 1958 and she lived at Casa Monte Tabor until her death in1990, only months before her eightieth birthday .

Celebrated writer Erich Maria Remarque fled Nazi Germany and certain persecution in 1931 for the southern Swiss canton of Ticino . While there he bought the lake side villa of Casa Monte Tabor . Built in the 1920s and located in Porto Ronco, Ticino, Switzerland, it stands on 15,000 sq ft of land lush with subtropical vegetation. It looks out on the Brissago Islands as well as the stunningly picturesque Lake Maggiore (Verbano) .

It became a place of great creative expression and idealism as well as an artistic refuge, especially to many fellow German writers and intellectuals also fleeing Nazi persecution . Remarque would be joined at the villa in 1958 by his new wife, the Hollywood actress Paulette Goddard . Their bond made the Casa Monte Tabor the iconic residence we know today .

This artistic and idealist legacy is now threatened.