Study Guide

The Book Thief Chapter 65

By Markus Zusak

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Chapter 65

The Collector

  • Hans and Alex don't go into battle.
  • Alex goes to Austria and mends clothing for soldiers.
  • Hans goes to Stuttgart (where Max is from) and then to Essen, Germany.
  • He's in the "LSE—Luftwaffe Sondereinheit—Air Raid Special Unit" (65.2).
  • This is the job of cleaning up the mess after the air raids.
  • This includes collecting the dead bodies after an air raid.
  • This is what LSE really stands for "Leichensammler Einheit—Dead Body Collectors" (65.3).
  • The sergeant in charge of Hans asks him what he did to get this terrible job.
  • Hans explains that he'd given bread to a Jew.
  • The sergeant tells him, "You're lucky to be alive" (65.4).
  • The crew of twelve, which Hans is a part of, meets every morning and gets into the truck.
  • Everybody has their own seat.
  • A man named Reinhold Zucker has a middle seat further up.
  • Hans is given a seat at the back of the truck.
  • On the day of the first air raid, Hans works with a crew of four amidst the wreckage.
  • People are looking for their loved ones.
  • Hans helps an old man stand up, just as Death comes for the man's soul.
  • At one point, Hans finds the body of a boy who looks about twelve.
  • Soon a woman comes looking for her son, a boy of twelve.
  • One of the soldiers keeps her from looking at the body Hans has found.
  • The woman goes away, calling "Rudy!" (65.60).
  • Hans thinks of Rudy Steiner and prays he's okay.
  • Later he writes a very short letter to Liesel and Rosa telling them he's okay.
  • He'll tell them everything when he sees them.
  • His hands won't stop shaking.

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