The Book Thief
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The Book Thief Chapter 58 Summary Page 1
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.