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The Book Thief

The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief Chapter 26 Summary

The Struggler, Continued

  • Now Death skips ahead to November 3, 1940.
  • Max Vandenburg is on the train reading Hitler's book, Mien Kampf.
  • We learn that "Mien Kampf" means translates to "My Struggle" (26.3).
  • Max had waited a week and a half in the storage shed.
  • That's how long it took for his friend Walter Kugler – (this is the first time we learn the name of the man who's been helping him escape to Himmel Street – to get back to him.
  • Walter tells Max that he (Walter) will be leaving to town to fight in the German army.
  • Max says he's sorry about that.
  • This is the last time these two will meet.
  • Walter leaves Max a train ticket. He'll travel from Stuttgart to Pasing, with a stop in Munich in between.
  • He's to leave Stuttgart in two nights. He'll walk from Pasing to Molching.
  • Walter also leaves him the things he needs to cut his hair and shave.
  • He shows his identity card, and his ticket when he gets on the train.
  • Max is desperately afraid of being asked for his "Papers" (26.24).
  • He's afraid that if he is asked to show the card again, he'll give himself away with fear and trembling and "the smell – no, the stench – of guilt" (26.26).
  • Luckily, he isn't asked.
  • As he rides the train he reads Mien Kampf and is amazed that Hitler's book is what's saving him from Hitler right now.

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