Study Guide

The Book Thief Chapter 43

By Markus Zusak

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Chapter 43

Three Acts Of Stupidity By Rudy Steiner

  • In this chapter, Rudy will commit potato-thievery, challenge Hitler Youth leader Franz Deutscher, and then stop attending Hitler Youth meetings.
  • The problem with the potato is that Rudy steals the potato everyone else at the market wants. They want it because it's the biggest one.
  • So, everybody sees him take it.
  • Rudy starts telling a sob story to the owner, but the owner is threatening to call the police.
  • Luckily, his teacher is there, and his teacher sticks up for him and gets the owner to let him go.
  • Failed again. Poor Rudy.
  • The next incident starts at Hitler Youth.
  • When Franz asks Rudy Hitler's birthday, one of Franz's favorite questions, Rudy goofs around gives Jesus' birthday instead.
  • Franz is not amused and makes him run laps until he finally gives the right date.
  • Several days later, Rudy sees Franz on Munich Street and throws a rock at him, hitting him in the back.
  • Liesel, Tommy, and Rudy's little sister are with him.
  • Franz beats him horribly, blackening his eye, cracking his ribs, and cutting his hair with a pocket-knife.
  • So, Rudy stops going to the meetings.
  • He strolls along the Amper River instead, and when his parents find out, he flat out refuses to return.
  • Luckily, Rudy's older brother gets him into a division of Hitler Youth that he can tolerate.
  • Tommy gets to come, too. Rudy is much more careful now.

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