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The Book Thief

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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