The Book Thief
Identity Quotes Page 2
How we cite our quotes:
He smeared the charcoal on, nice and thick, till he was covered in black. Even his hair received a once over. (9.5)
This is Rudy, getting ready to take on the identity of his idol, Jesse Owens, a black American who won four gold medals in the 1936 Olympics held in Germany. Hitler was not pleased with Owens' triumph, but Rudy definitely was. To Rudy, black is definitely beautiful. He's sees past the propaganda surrounding him even at a young age.
Hang on a second, he was German. Or more to the point, he had been. (26.20)
The Nuremburg Laws http://cghs.dadeschools.net/holocaust/laws.htm were passed in 1933 and 1935. They stripped Jews of their German Citizenship and right to vote. Legally speaking, all Jews in Germany were in the country illegally. This manipulation of the legal system was an integral part of the Nazi technique. Read more in "Setting."
In front of him, he read from the copy of Mein Kampf. His savior. Sweat was swimming out of his hands. Fingermarks clutched the book. (26.2)
Max knows that if he can "pass" as a non Jew long enough, he can get to Himmel Street, his best change for survival. The very best way to establish this identity temporarily is to carry a copy of Hitler's book.