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The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak
The Book Thief Chapter 18 Summary
100 Percent Pure German Sweat Liesel and the girl and boy divisions of Hitler Youth reach the middle of town, where the church is. After a group " heil Hitler" the youths are let free. A huge pile of books and papers is being built. Liesel's own books are so precious to her, and she knows that there's something not quite right about burning books. Still, she wants to see. She looks for Rudy and waits for the fire to start. A Nazi stands at the podium and calls for quiet from the crowd. He says that soon Germany will soon get rid of the Communists and the Jews. Liesel remembers that her father was called a Communist. She realizes that her family's poverty, the fact that her parents are missing, and her brother's death are because the Nazis hate communists like her father She's sick to her stomach. Death tells us that forty million people died in World War II. Now the book burning begins. Someone calls Liesel's name. It's Ludwig Schmeikl (the boy she beat up on the playground). Liesel thinks he'll be mean or rude, but he isn't. He's hurt. The crowd has trampled him, and his ankle is in bad shape. Liesel helps Ludwig to the steps of the church. He thanks her, then apologizes for teasing her that day in the school yard. She apologizes for beating him up. Ludwig's ankle continues to bleed as he and Liesel watch the books burn.
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