Study Guide

The Book Thief Chapter 49

By Markus Zusak

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Chapter 49

Death's Diary: Cologne

  • It's the night of May 30, 1942.
  • One thousand bombers drop bombs on Köln (Cologne), Germany.
  • Fifty thousand people are homeless.
  • Five hundred people die. Death takes them, takes care of some more business, and then returns to Cologne.
  • Some ten year old girls are amidst the rubble.
  • One of them calls to her father, pointing at something in the sky.
  • It's an empty fuel container.
  • The bombers had dropped their empty fuel containers, and now the kids are looking for them excitedly.
  • As kids pick up fuel containers, Death picks up bodies.
  • And this is just the beginning of 1942.
  • (For a video about the bombing of Cologne, click here.)

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