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The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak
The Book Thief Chapter 78 Summary
The Ninety-Eighth Day Hans has been home for ninety-seven days and everything is okay for Liesel. Things change on the ninety-eighth day. A few days before this, another procession of Jews comes through Molching. This time they are coming from the death-camp Dachau, on their way to do some clean-up that was too awful even for the LSE men. They proceed through the town on their way back that evening. Max is not among them, but in August, he will be. When he comes he'll be looking for Liesel, and she will be looking for him. Before this, on the ninety-eighth day, Liesel is looking for him, too. On July 24, something bad happens. Death comes to Himmel Street for Michael Holtzapfel, who hangs himself at around six in the morning on July 27, 1943. Death doesn't see Liesel on this day. Death is very busy right now and doesn't have time to stay on Himmel Street. Death doesn't see Frau Holtzapfel collapse in despair on the street. But, Death reads about these things in a few months, in a book called The Book Thief. In this book, Death reads that Michael kills himself because he feels guilty for being alive. Liesel will learn that Michael had stopped sleeping. He leaves a note, apologizing to his mother. He loves her, but needs to be with his dead brother Robert. Hans is the person who tells Frau Holtzapfel about Michael. It's about six months after Robert's death. After she gets the news, she runs up Himmel Street, crying, until she can't move anymore and sits in the street. Hans sits down next to her and holds her hand while she screams. Later, he walks her gently home.
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