From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak
The Book Thief Chapter 65 Summary
The Collector Hans and Alex don't go into battle. Alex goes to Austria and mends clothing for soldiers. Hans goes to Stuttgart (where Max is from) and then to Essen, Germany. He's in the "LSE— Luftwaffe Sondereinheit—Air Raid Special Unit" (65.2). This is the job of cleaning up the mess after the air raids. This includes collecting the dead bodies after an air raid. This is what LSE really stands for " Leichensammler Einheit—Dead Body Collectors" (65.3). The sergeant in charge of Hans asks him what he did to get this terrible job. Hans explains that he'd given bread to a Jew. The sergeant tells him, "You're lucky to be alive" (65.4). The crew of twelve, which Hans is a part of, meets every morning and gets into the truck. Everybody has their own seat. A man named Reinhold Zucker has a middle seat further up. Hans is given a seat at the back of the truck. On the day of the first air raid, Hans works with a crew of four amidst the wreckage. People are looking for their loved ones. Hans helps an old man stand up, just as Death comes for the man's soul. At one point, Hans finds the body of a boy who looks about twelve. Soon a woman comes looking for her son, a boy of twelve. One of the soldiers keeps her from looking at the body Hans has found. The woman goes away, calling "Rudy!" (65.60). Hans thinks of Rudy Steiner and prays he's okay. Later he writes a very short letter to Liesel and Rosa telling them he's okay. He'll tell them everything when he sees them. His hands won't stop shaking.
People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...