Saturday, 24 March 2012

The Book Thief: Reading Respond VII

Part 7: The Complete Duden Dictionary And Thesaurus

Champagne and Accordion

Those whose basements were marked as shelters needed to paint their windows black to make it visible to anyone where the shelters were. This, unexpectedly, meant Hans finally had some work to do. He was usually paid with nothing, some cookies, a cup of tea or half a cigarette. He would also take Liesel with him, telling her stories about his life while they painted. When they had a break, Papa would play his accordion. One time, Hans asked for champagne as a payment and let Liesel had a taste. On her first trial, she spit it out. On her second trial, it bubbled in her mouth. She vowed never to drink it again, for it would never be as good as it was before. This was the same for the accordion. Despite wanting to know how to play it, she never asked Papa to teach her, for she knew they would never be equal. In the future, Liesel would claim that this was the best time of her life.

The Trilogy

Meanwhile, Rudy was doing running practices for the upcoming Hitler Youth carnival, where he intended to win four medals on running 1500, 400, 200 and 100 meters. There were two reasons for this: to show off in front of his old Hitler Youth leader and to be more like Jesse Owens, who also won four medals. He trained for six months until the actual race.
On the actual day, he won three medals. But on the fourth race, he was disqualified because he kept dropping down to dig the earth. After the race, he even left the medals for Liesel to keep. She often wondered why he did so, and came to her own conclusion that it was because he was not Jesse Owens.

After finishing The Dream Carrier, she went to the mayor's house to steal another one: A Song in the Dark. The only difference was that this time she went without Rudy. A week later, Rudy and Liesel noticed a book being place on the window on purpose. It could have been a trap, but they took it anyway. It was The Complete Duden Dictionary and Thesaurus. While making their way back, she turned back and was surprised to see the mayor's wife, waving at her. They discovered a letter to Liesel inside the book afterward. It said that she - the mayor's wife - did notice someone sneaking around her house, but decided not to act on it because she was glad Liesel did visit at all. She only hoped that Liesel would come in a more civilized manner and hopefully find the dictionary useful. Liesel made her way back to the house, but did not have the courage to knock.

The Sound of Sirens

With the money he got, Hans bought a secondhand radio so they would be noticed if a raid was coming. In September, a raid came. They were forced to abandon Max and went to the Fiedler's shelter. Papa forgot to even bring his accordion, but Liesel did not forget to bring her book. In the shelter, they waited with other twenty two people, frightened and panicked. She found Rudy in there as well and started observing the top four people who looked the most afraid: Frau Holtzapfel, Mr Fiedler, Rolf Schultz and Mama. Soon enough, everyone was holding their hands to each other into a circle. When everything was over and they made their way back, Max was hiding behind sheets and paint cans. He said when everything was quiet; he went upstairs and took a peak of the sky.

The Sky Stealer

The first raid was a fault raid, the operator got overexcited. The next one in September 19, however, was real. In the middle of the chaos, Liesel read The Whistler aloud to help her concentrate. By page three, everyone quieted and listened to her. And, despite the raid being over, they all waited until Liesel finishing the chapter before they got off the basement. Liesel told Max about what happened in the shelter, and that was when Max thought of his next project: The Word Shaker.

Frau Holtzapfel's Offer

A few days after the raid, Frau Holtzapfel showed up on the Hubermann's door steps and demanded for Rosa. She was interested to hear Liesel reading The Whistler, so she made an offer; Monday and Froday every week in exchange of coffee ration. Rosa agreed, but Liesel was not exactly happy about it.

The Long Walk to Dachau

A Jew died of disease and starvation and caused the transportation of other Jews to stop. The leader of the soldiers felt that it was a perfect opportunity to make a parade of Jews, marching passed the Himmel Street.

Meanwhile, Liesel was playing soccer when she heard the noises. More people started gathering as Jews and criminals were pushed through their street. One of the Jews was an old man who kept falling down because he could not catch up with the line. So out of sympathy, Hans stepped up and gave the old man a piece of bread. The Jew fell to his knees, thanked Hans and cried at his angles. Soon, a soldier noticed. He whipped the Jew six times and Hans four times for committing such crime. Hans' paint cart was turned over and he was called names. He immediately regretted the kindness he had shown because now, the party would come after him.


Max was forced to leave because they were afraid that the Nazi party would come and found him. Max said he left something for Liesel which she would get when she was ready, and then left without turning back. Four days later, on what was supposed to be their meeting, Hans found only a note saying, 'You've done enough.'

The Idiot and the Coat men

Since the day of the parade, Papa was in deep depression, deep guilt, deep fear. Max was gone because of him, and the party had not come yet. If they would not come at all, it meant Max had to leave for nothing. With this, Hans believed he was fully to be blamed. After three weeks of extreme paranoid, the party finally came. But they did not come for Papa, they came for Rudy.

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