Study Guide

The Book Thief Chapter 58

By Markus Zusak

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Chapter 58

The Long Walk To Dachau

  • About four miles from Molching, Death comes upon a convoy of Nazis taking Jews to Dachau. They are in trucks. A man has died and Death takes him.
  • The Nazi decide to make the Jews walk. One of the Nazis says, "It's perfect weather for a parade" (58.13).
  • Liesel and Rudy are playing soccer on Himmel Street and they hear the parade, though they don't know what it is.
  • From a high window, Liesel hears a woman say, "Die Juden […]. The Jews" (58.23).
  • We are given the sixth word from Liesel's dictionary, "Elend – Misery" (58.24).
  • Liesel sees Hans up ahead, and she and Rudy join him.
  • At first he seems about to take them home, but he sees it will be next to impossible to stop Liesel from watching this.
  • As she watches, Liesel feels awful. She makes eye contact with a few of the Jews and feels helpless.
  • She hopes they can see that she cares.
  • She wants to tell them about Max.
  • But she doesn't, and she knows it's pointless anyway.
  • In a minute, Liesel is going to see an example of what happens to people who try to help Jews.
  • One of the Jews, an older man, very thin, falls down.
  • A soldier forces him up. This is repeated several times. Soon the man will be dead.
  • But, suddenly, Hans is giving the man bread.
  • A soldier approaches.
  • First the soldier whips the Jewish man severely, and then he turns the whip on Hans.
  • Liesel and Rudy help Hans home.
  • When he gets home, he's flooded with fear.
  • He's afraid that now the Nazis will come to the house, discover Max, and take them all away.
  • He says, "Oh my God, Liesel, what have I done?" (58.91).
  • Death agrees that Hans now has a problem.

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