' The Book Thief, By Liesel Meminger

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The Book Thief is the story of Liesel Meminger narrated by Death. It is set in Nazi Germany between the years of 1939 to 1943. Throughout the story, Liesel gains a new family and an unusual friend in the Jewish man her foster family is hiding in their basement. Liesel is then thrust into a new, dangerous, yet beautiful world. Along with Liesel 's growth and evolution, the evolution of Germany is also covered in the story. While there is various change for the best in the story, not all change was for the best. Before the war began, most of Germany was in poverty. After World War I and their great depression, Germany was devastated. The way Death described the living conditions Liesel had previously known and those of her new family, the Hubermann…show more content…
Many families remained poor or became poorer. Many people also lived in fear and experienced very tense and oppressing times. German citizens who were not Jewish had to live in fear as well. The Gestapo would investigate any forms of sabotage and treason amongst other things if someone were to make them suspect them. The Gestapo would then arrest the suspect. Liesel had hair "a close enough brand of German blond, but she had dangerous eyes. Dark brown," (Zusak, 31) which could have made her seem 'impure ' to others around her and put her at risk of being 'exterminated ' by the Nazis. Alex Steiner, Rudy 's father, expressed feeling tense when he talked to Rudy. He describes Rudy 's eyes as "safe" blue ones and told him he should be happy with them when Rudy informed him he wants to be life Jessie Owens. Another example of rising tensions is during the bonfire on Hitler 's birthday when Hans Jr. called his father a coward for not wanting to join the Nazis. Many people risk losing their jobs or have already lost them, such as Rosa in chapter 15. She washes laundry for the richer houses in Molching however, the harsh economy is now effecting them as well. Alex Steiner was once part of the Nazi Party but left because he did not hate anyone, Jewish or otherwise, enough to want them dead. Despite this, he "couldn 't help feeling relief when Jewish shop owners were out of business," (Zusak, 59) as he has a family he needs to provide…show more content…
"The world talked it over. Newspaper headlines reveled in it. The Führer 's voice roared from German radios. We will not give up. We will not rest. We will be victorious. Our time has come," (Zusak, 73-74) is an example of how Nazism was everywhere. On April 20, 1940, Liesel experienced the Nazi 's holding a bonfire where they would burn what the considered enemy propaganda. This proves whether a person agrees with the Nazi 's or does not, there is little to no escaping them as they are almost literally everywhere you turn. Viktor Chemmel as well as other children also adopt what Hitler preaches. He said, "No shame in wanting a little more. […] What does our Führer say? We must take what is rightfully ours!" (Zusak, 273) when he justified his reasons for stealing. The effects of the Nazi regime and the war also effects families in a very significant ways. Many families were torn apart when the men, be it a husband or son, are enlisted and have to go to war, such as Frau Ilsa Hermann who mourns the loss of her son. When Hans joins the Nazi 's he 's part of the Air Raid Special Unit known as the LSE. Their job was to put out fires and rescue anyone who may be trapped beneath the rubble after the bomb raids. Because of the Nazi 's influence, Hans and Rosa lose their son who has conflicting

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