The Book Thief
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 40 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.