Week 6

Hello again ladies and gentlemen, this is Husam J coming at you with a summary of the chapters, enjoy (that’s if you read it, of course).

The people of Molching were becoming afraid of bombing. They have have been notified of the nearest shelters basements, and darken their windows. For Han, this meant more work. People needed to paint their blinds black. Liesel walks the street to help him. She enjoys spending these afternoons with him, listening to his stories and hearing him play his accordion. At a wealthy home she gets to try champagne. She said she would never drink champagne because it would never taste as good as it did in July 1942. The relationship between Liesel and Hans grow a lot deeper and taking an adult tone as Liesel matures. Han continues to help those in need. And gets paid with objects food, or drinks instead of money.

Han wakes up Liesel in the middle of night, sirens going off, they say goodbye to Max and leave him in the basement. Outside people were carrying their belongings and run to shelters. Lisesel and her family go to Fiedlers’ basement. Han forgets his accordion. The Steiner family is there too along with Frau Holtzapfel and Pfiffikus (funny names) and others. When the all-clear signal is given, the family goes home and find Max in the basement. He apologizes for what he did and went upstairs too look outside the window.

The raid was a false alarm and no bombing occurs. But the raid of Septerember 19, 1942 is real and radio alerts them this time. And again, the people make their way to Fielders’ basement. And Han leaves the accordion for good luck. Liesel starts reading The Whistler, Rudy was the first one to listen but then everyone else did. She realized that her reading is similar to Han’s accordion. And after some time, the sirens alert them that the raid is over.  And people thanked Liesel as people were leaving and went back home and they shared their story to Han.

The next day, Rudy and Lisel explore the damage to Molching. And so it would be two weeks since another air raid then some other things had happened throughout but I didn’t fully understand it. I read the section twice and didn’t make sense so if someone could elaborate would be very helpful.

It’s 11 pm and Max Vandenburn walk Himmel Street with a suitcase full of food and warm clothes. Before leaving, he tells Lisel there is a present waiting for her but she won’t get it until she’s ready. Liesel joins Hans and Rosa in the Kitchen. And now Himmel Street is a place of silence.

Rosa tries to make Han go to bed but he won’t listen. She goes to her room and prays for Max who had left and in hte morning she find Han sleeping in hte kitchen. Han tells her that he should have been arested but assures him that he’s innocent. Another week goes by, and Liesel sees Han walking by the river occasionally. One day they saw his face in the water.

Death says that everybody in Nazi Germany gets some kind of punishment. Those who survive are punished with “poverty and guilt when the war is over and six million discoveries were made throughout Europe”. The six million is the accepted number of Jews killed during the Holocaust. Hans wants to be punished and his punishment was the approvial of the Nazi party and conscription to the German Army. Liesel’s hand trembles as she reads the letter informing him. It shows how desperate Germany is out of soldiers.


Week 6

Role 3: Passage Person

“As is often the case with humans, when I read about them in the book thief’s words, I pitied them, though not as much as I felt for the ones I scooped up from various camps in that time. The Germans in basements were pitiable, surely, but at least they had a chance. The basement was not a washroom. They were not sent there for a shower. For those people, life was still achievable.” (376)

I chose this passage because it puts the time period and the lives of our protagonists into perspective; though we do feel greatly for the main characters, it is very easy to forget that they are not the ones suffering the most. We are able to see glimpses of what Jewish people were going through throughout the story, but it is still important to remember that the Jewish people were the real victims of real suffering, no matter how bleak the German people’s lives seemed at the time.

“Again, Himmel Street was a trail of people, and again, Papa left his accordion. Rosa reminded him to take it, but he refused. ‘I didn’t take it last time,’ he explained, ‘and we lived.’ War clearly blurred the distinction between logic and superstition.” (380)

I chose this passage because I feel that it very concisely and accurately documents a glimpse of being human in a desperate situation. I find myself falling into superstitions like this even in my daily life, and I imagine that would be greatly exacerbated by the dangerous times. I feel like this shows how far people, even logical people like Hans, will reach in order to find some stability, no matter how illogical the grounds for that stability are.

“In a tall apartment just around the corner on Munich Street, an old lady with a foreboding voice deciphered for everyone the exact source of the commotion. Up high, in the window, her face appeared like a white flag with moist eyes and an open mouth. Her voice was like suicide, landin with a clunk at Liesel’s feet.” (390)

I chose this passage because I really admire Zusak’s ability to construct an atmosphere and the image of a character with just a few simple words. I think the similes in this passage really get the message across, and show his use of language to perfectly accent the point he wants to get across.

For my fellow groupmates, what do you think of the first passage?

-Devon D.

Week 6

Role 2: The Connector

The connection I made the week is the escape from town when the threat of bombing was upon the people. There was a lot going on at once, and all the families were escaping for their own safety. However, the one left behind was Max, the Jewish man who was seen as less than human in society. Of course, they could not take him along, for it could put them all in even more danger. As much as he matters to them, they simply had to leave him behind. Each person carried what is most valuable to them while escaping, and it was limited to what they could hold in their arms. Of course, Liesel had taken her books with her.

I felt that this part showed more of the trouble for the German people during the war. There was so much to fear and people had to do what they could in order to survive. But things were even more difficult when the Jewish people German families were trying to protect had no choice but to stay behind in these raids and risk death because they could do nothing more than hide in a basement or in an attic. This also showed that no matter what situation they were in, a German family could hardly do anything to truly save a Jewish person’s life during this era. The part where they were all carrying their most cherished thing, Liesel points out that Hans did not bring his accordion with him, even though it means a lot. Instead he is more concerned with his family, and this showed that the most important thing to him is Rosa and Liesel.

-Kimberly M

Week 6

Role 5: Word Master

Warning: Too many ponies, seriously.

Note: These words are all “Duden Dictionary Meanings” from the novel. Each has a specific, significant  purpose. There is a reason as to why they are used in the way the author uses them.

Note #2: I apologize beforehand for the excesive use of ponies. When I was looking for images, the best visual examples for the words just so happened to all be coinsidently related to ponies. I don’t even follow My Little Pony!

1. Zufriedenheit (358):

Happiness. Coming from happy; enjoying pleasure and contentment.



2. Verzeihung (368):

Forgiveness. To stop feeling anger, animosity, or resentment.

3. Angst (375):

Fear. An unpleasant, often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger.

4. Wort (382):

Word. A meaningful unit of language / a promise / a short remark, statement, or conversation.

5. Gelegenheit (385):

Opportunity. A chance for advancement or progress.

6. Elend (391):

Misery. Great suffering, unhappiness, and distress.

7. Schweigen (398):

Silence. The absence of sound or noice.

8. Nachtrauern (401):

Regret. Sorrow filled with longing dissapointment, or loss.

Week 6

Role 1: The Discussion Leader

1. Why does Ilsa Hermann put the Duden Dictionary in the window for Liesel to steal?

2. What does the Jewish prisoners walk to Dachua tell us, regarding the mindset of the German soldiers?

3.  What was significant/symbolic about the dominoes game the Steiner family were playing? 

-Ivan J

Week 5

Hello ladies and gentlemen my role is The Passage Person, brought to you by Husam J.

“There was no decision to be made. She’d lugged that rusty bike all the way up there and she wasn’t leaving without a book. She placed the handlebars in the gutter, looked out for any neighbors, and walked to the window. There was good speed but no hurry. She took her shoes off using her feet, treading on the heels with her toes.”

What grabs my interest is the part that said “There was good speed but not hurry”.  How can you be able to maintain a pace, without feeling the rush or “hurry” in this case while you are stealing? Especially with the adrenaline you get while stealing? Please let me know what you think.


Week 5

Role 2: The Connector

A connection I made was how their treatment of Max’s illness was very telling of the time, and of Max’s situation. Although they all loved him, each in their own ways, their attempt to cure his sickness and the possibility of his death were both incredible liabilities to the Hubermanns that they also had to take into account. That shows how not only was it impossible to supply any sort of medicine if you were in any way considered illegitimate by the society, but even in death, Jewish people were treated as subhuman. It shows just how willing the people who harbored them were to suffer the consequences, and how much of a danger even the slightest mishap could be.

I felt that it also showed well how people can handle the prospect of the death of a loved one in a variety of different ways. Liesel never gave up hope, and instead tried to bring him back in every way she could – some would call it denial, others could call it persistence in doing what she felt was right. Meanwhile, Hans and Rosa were more practical and considered every part of the situation, not just their own emotions. I feel that this characterization connects back to readers’ own experiences with death and illness, and allows people to see themselves in the characters’ actions and emotions.

-Devon D.

Week 5

Role One: The Discussion Leader

1. What would you say about Rudy’s development and his reasons on acting out in this part of the reading?

2. Why does the narrator include the short part of themselves in Death’s Diary in part six of the book?

3. How is Max a replacement for Liesel’s dead brother?

– Kimberly M

Week 5

Role five: The word master

1. Schnell (pg 314) : hurry, as a command

I chose this word, since I didn’t know what it meant, and it was during an emotional setting when Max was close to dying.

2. The Dream Carrier (pg 327) : This is a book Liesel stole from Ilsa Herman’s library in the mayors house.

I chose this phrase/title since the book signifies the soul and life of Max, when Max was close to death.

3. Luft Schutz Raum (pg 340) : Air-Raid Shelter

I chose this phrase, as it gives the context of the war in Germany and how enemies would drop bombs on Germany. Also during that time they were checking everyone’s houses if their basements were good for air-raid shelters, and at that time Max was in the basement hiding from a Nazi-Party Member, checking if the basement was good, so this part was anxious.

4. Shemozzle (pg 342): a state of chaos and confusion

I chose this word, because it was during the situation where Liesel and her family had to think of a plan to hide Max when the Nazi-party member came into their house. 

5. Auf Wierdersehen (pg 345): until we meet again/goodbye

I chose this phrase, since the Nazi member left the house and the whole family was relieved that they didn’t get caught for having Max in their house. 

Week 4

Role 3: Passages

“First and foremost, we want a good clean fight. Unless, of course, Herr Hitler, you begin to lose. Should this occur, we will be quite willing to turn a blind eye to any unconscionable tactics you might employ to grind this piece of Jewish stench and filth into the canvas” (252).

This is a quote from the ringmaster during Max’s fantasy boxing match with Hitler. Not only do we see a clear example of preference over Hitler and double standard, but we have to keep in mind that it is Max the one who is imagining this being said. Obviously, he is aware of what the public thinks of Jews during Hitler’s period of influence. Yet, I think it’s fascinating how crude he is while (in a way) describing himself. He is doing a decent job at putting himself at someone else’s shoes.

I thought this was perhaps one of the most significant sections of this week’s reading. What are your thoughts?