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The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak
The Book Thief Chapter 58 Summary
The Long Walk To Dachau About four miles from Molching, Death comes upon a convoy of Nazis taking Jews to Dachau. They are in trucks. A man has died and Death takes him. The Nazi decide to make the Jews walk. One of the Nazis says, "It's perfect weather for a parade" (58.13). Liesel and Rudy are playing soccer on Himmel Street and they hear the parade, though they don't know what it is. From a high window, Liesel hears a woman say, " Die Juden […]. The Jews" (58.23). We are given the sixth word from Liesel's dictionary, " Elend – Misery" (58.24). Liesel sees Hans up ahead, and she and Rudy join him. At first he seems about to take them home, but he sees it will be next to impossible to stop Liesel from watching this. As she watches, Liesel feels awful. She makes eye contact with a few of the Jews and feels helpless. She hopes they can see that she cares. She wants to tell them about Max. But she doesn't, and she knows it's pointless anyway. In a minute, Liesel is going to see an example of what happens to people who try to help Jews. One of the Jews, an older man, very thin, falls down. A soldier forces him up. This is repeated several times. Soon the man will be dead. But, suddenly, Hans is giving the man bread. A soldier approaches. First the soldier whips the Jewish man severely, and then he turns the whip on Hans. Liesel and Rudy help Hans home. When he gets home, he's flooded with fear.
He's afraid that now the Nazis will come to the house, discover Max, and take them all away. He says, "Oh my God, Liesel, what have I done?" (58.91). Death agrees that Hans now has a problem.
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