On Christmas Eve, Liesel builds a snowman in the basement for Max. Shortly afterwards, Max gets very sick and falls into a coma. Death comes to Himmel Street and visits Max but doesn’t take his soul. Liesel begins bringing him presents from the outside world, such as a pinecone, a feather, and a candy wrapper. One day, watching a cloud rise over the hills, papa suggests Liesel give Max the cloud as one of his presents. She memorizes what the cloud looks like, then writes the description on a piece of paper that she leaves by his bedside. She decides to read the rest of The Whistler to Max, telling herself that he will wake up once she’s finished the book, and reads the final chapters in one afternoon. Max still doesn’t wake up. Liesel and Rudy ride bikes to the mayor’s house, where the window is open. Liesel climbs through the window and steals another book, The Dream Carrier, which she selects because of the title’s relation to both her and Max’s recurring dreams. She and Rudyescape without being detected. Death suggests that perhaps the mayor’s wife, Frau Hermann, keeps the window open in hopes that Liesel will come back and steal another book.
Liesel begins reading the new book to Max, who remains unconscious. Rosa and Hans discuss what they will do if Max dies, and how they will dispose of the corpse without arousing suspicion from the neighbors. All members of the Hubermann household are aware of the fact that, with Max sick, there is extra food for the rest of them, though no one mentions this benefit. Liesel dreams, as usual, of her dead brother, but this time he turns into Max in the dream. Finally, in the middle of March, Max wakes up. Rosa comes to Liesel’s school, and pretending to be angry with her for using her hairbrush, takes her into the hall and tells her the news. Liesel is ecstatic. Death checks in from Cologne, where bombs have killed 500 people. Children collect the empty fuel tanks from the bombers. Death, working overtime, is exhausted, but knows the worst is yet to come.
In Molching, Nazi soldiers arrive and begin checking basements to see if they are deep enough to serve as bomb shelters. Liesel and Rudy are playing soccer when they come, and Liesel realizes she must warn Rosa, Hans, and Max, since Max lives in their basement. She intentionally gets injured in the game and cries for Hans. He takes her home and there is just time to warn Max but not enough time to hide him. A soldier arrives and checks the basement, but doesn’t see Max, who has hidden. Summer arrives. Death describes the sky as “the color of Jews.” He takes the souls of a group of French Jews in a German prison in Poland. Above the Jew-colored clouds, he says, the sun is “blond” and the sky is a “giant blue eye.”
This section shows the intensifying effects of the war both on ordinary Germans and on Europe’s Jews. Death interrupts the narrative twice to describe two scenes of mass death: the bombing of Cologne and the Nazi death camps in Poland. Of the second scene, he describes the sky being “the color of Jews,” which refers to the smoke rising from the massive crematoria the Nazis used to dispose of the Jewish bodies. Above this smoke, the sky resembles the Aryan ideal of human perfection. It is the color of blue eyes, and the sun is the yellow of blond hair. This description extends Hitler’s vision of a master race beyond mankind to all of nature. It’s an exaggeration of Hitler’s reach, of course, but what it symbolizes is how dominant and pervasive Nazi control was in Germany. Then, describing the victims of the death camp, Death says, “They were French, they were Jews, and they were you,” suggesting the destruction was similarly universal and pervasive. The point Death makes is that the mass murder of the Jews wasn’t just a tragedy for Jews, but for all people everywhere. It was a crime against humanity as a whole.
Read an in-depth analysis of the quote “They were French, they were Jews, and they were you.”
While Death is working overtime to keep up with the demands of the war, Liesel is is still mainly concerned with her domestic situation since the war remains at a distance from Molching. She spends her time finding small ways to bring daily joy to otherwise grim circumstances. Despite the war, the Hubermanns have “the greatest Christmas ever,” thanks to Liesel’s snowman and a spontaneous indoor snowball fight. But when Max gets sick, the situation is doubly dire. Not only is Liesel concerned about the health of her new friend, but the Hubermanns must also worry about the jeopardy they will be put in if he dies. No matter how good a friend Max is to Liesel, or how considerate and quiet a lodger he tries to be, the reality is that the Hubermanns are hiding him at great personal cost, and his presence in their basement creates a huge potential liability for all of them. As spring arrives, Rosa and Hans are feeling the burden of their sacrifice. The stress is taking its toll, and though no one in the family complains about how little they all have to eat, it’s evident from the fact that everyone guiltily acknowledges that Max’s death would mean they would all have a little more food.
Read more about the responsibility of the living to the dead.
As Max’s coma wears on, Liesel discovers that, in addition to material goods, words can also be a gift. At Hans’s suggestion, Liesel describes a cloud in writing for Max, and she sees that by showing him things he cannot see or experience, she can bring the outside world to him through language. She plays the same role for him that the novels she reads, which show her places and people beyond her experience in Molching, play for her. The realization shows her continuing evolution as a writer, and her development of her own voice. Liesel also gives Max the gift of words by reading to him, though she can’t be sure he hears her. Reading out loud is a form of reassuring herself, as well as trying to communicate with the sleeping Max. In both cases, she strengthens her bond with him through words.
Read more about the power of words as a theme.
When Max wakes up, the reprieve from worry is brief, because soon the Nazis arrive to check people’s basements and again the Hubermanns are reminded of how tenuous their situation is. The great risk the Hubermanns are taking in hiding Max is never far from their minds, and again the duality of their life is indicated by the Hubermanns’ ability to make polite conversation with the Nazi soldier in their kitchen while a Jew hides in their basement. After the Nazi leaves, Liesel tells Rudy that “everything’s good.” In fact, this couldn’t be farther from the truth, either at home or in the world, but the imminent danger has passed, so for the time being Liesel believes this to be true. Here is another example of dramatic irony, since the reader knows things are about to get much worse, but Liesel, who has no way of knowing the future, is relatively content.
Read more about the double lives the Hubermanns lead.
What happens in Part 6 of the book thief? ›
On Christmas Eve, Liesel builds a snowman in the basement for Max. Shortly afterwards, Max gets very sick and falls into a coma. Death comes to Himmel Street and visits Max but doesn't take his soul. Liesel begins bringing him presents from the outside world, such as a pinecone, a feather, and a candy wrapper.What is the quote from Part 6 of the book thief? ›
“Nothing. We don't even go down there—not a care in the world.”Did Max marry Liesel in the book thief? ›
Samantha McLaughlin In an interview, Markus Zusak stated that Liesel did not marry Max, although many readers still 'believe' she did. :) And my guess is that she ended up in Australia because of the person she married or maybe her writing career... Hope this helps!How does the author build suspense in Part 6 of the book thief? ›
The author slowly build suspense through the events. First, Max gets, then Death foreshadows Himmel getting bombed, and finally the Nazis come to inspect the basements. The author is building suspense towards the climate-the bombing of Himmel Street.What tragic historical event does death allude to at the beginning of part 6? ›
It is June 1942. Death says that the sky is the color of Jews. He describes the desperate souls he has to carry, those from Auschwitz and Mauthausen, a group of French Jews in a German prison that he remembers.Is Max alive at the end of the book thief? ›
Although he comes close many times, Max does not actually die in The Book Thief. He survives the narrative and reunites with Liesel after the war has ended.What is the most important quote in The Book Thief? ›
“The human heart is a line, whereas my own is a circle, and I have the endless ability to be in the right place at the right time. The consequence of this is that I'm always finding humans at their best and worst.Why is the dice 7 sided in The Book Thief? ›
In The Book Thief, Death uses a seven-sided die to illustrate the dangers of harboring a Jew during the era of World War II. The dice not only symbolizes the risk of housing Max, but also the fact the Liesel, Hans, and Rosa, are “gambling” with their lives.What did Death say at the end of The Book Thief? ›
The last line of The Book Thief is something that Death tells Liesel when he goes to collect her soul. He also shares his thought with the readers. He says, ''I am haunted by humans. '' The line is unusual at first glance since it is usually the living who are haunted by the dead and not the other way around.Who did Liesel love the most? ›
Liesel finally kisses Rudy, but only after he's dead. When she discovers the bodies of her Mama and Papa, she finds it hardest to look at her Papa. Death tells us that it was him that she loved most.
Who does Liesel end up with? ›
Answer and Explanation: In The Book Thief it is not said whom Liesel marries, only that she does and has a family. Shortly after the war has ended, she sees Max at the end of the story in an emotional, joyful reunion.Do Rudy and Liesel ever kiss? ›
In the end they did kiss but after Rudy died.What does Death say saved Hans life? ›
At various times in the novel we've seen seemingly inconsequential acts result in characters avoiding death. Hans, for instance, was saved by Erik Vandenburg, who spared him from the battle that killed Hans's platoon by volunteering him to write letters.What is the last gift Liesel gives Max? ›
Liesel's last gift is her tears. She cries on Max's face.Why does Liesel drink champagne? ›
Liesel, who has been relatively content over the summer, now realizes that her happiness may be fleeting and tries to savor each last happy moment. For example, as she drinks Champagne for the first time, she has an awareness of how happy she is, and how that happiness contributes to the flavor of the drink.Why is Rudy afraid of Liesel's kiss? ›
He knows that his heroism might actually win him a kiss from Liesel, something he frequently, fruitlessly requests. Death as narrator believes that realizing he might finally succeed makes Rudy hesitate getting out of the water. The kiss now feels far too important to him and he no longer wants a kiss as casual thanks.What does Death say about Rudy's Death? ›
Death then reveals that, in two years, Rudy will die and that he won't deserve to die the way he does, during a bombing. Liesel will be there to weep over his body, which, Death thinks, Rudy would have liked.How does Death feel about Rudy's Death? ›
Death feels bad for Rudy. Rudy, Death tells us, "didn't deserve to die the way he did" (37.9). Rudy does not, as we might guess, die of "hypothermia [low body temperature]" (37.10) from jumping in the freezing cold river. He dies two almost two years later.Why did Liesel's mother abandon her? ›
She is fostered by the Hubermanns after her biological father "abandons" their family due to being a Communist, her brother dies, and her mother is forced to send her to a foster home to avoid Nazi persecution.
One of the main things he does is collect stories of courageous humans. Liesel is particularly interesting to him because of her courage and her personality. Stories like hers help keep him going. He retells these stories, he says, "to prove to myself that you, and your human existence, are worth it" (4.33).
Who is the last human stranger in the book thief? ›
She finds Die Letzte Menschliche Fremde—The Last Human Stranger. She's about to make her exit through the window when she hears the sound of a door opening. She turns. It's Ilsa Hermann, wearing a swastika-embroidered bathrobe.What 2 things does Ilsa give Liesel? ›
After Liesel leaves a letter saying she will not return to the Hermann's library, Frau Hermann comes to the Hubermanns house and gives Liesel two gifts, a blank notebook and a compliment on her writing.What is a powerful quote from Liesel Meminger? ›
“The best world shakers were the ones who understood the true power of words. They were the ones who could climb the highest. One such word shaker was a small, skinny girl. She was renowned as the best word shaker of her region because she knew how powerless a person could be WITHOUT words.Why does Liesel yell at the mayor's wife? ›
Outraged, Liesel screams at Frau Hermann, telling her to get over the death of her son, and throws the book at her feet. Back at home, she takes the blame for Rosa being fired, but Rosa doesn't believe her.What does Liesel yell at Ilsa? ›
Ilsa answers and Liesel yells at her, spitefully bringing up Ilsa's dead son and the mayor's wealth. She imagines her own dead brother standing next to her.Why did Ilsa fire Rosa? ›
Back at home, Liesel tells Rosa that she called the mayor's wife pathetic, and that is why Ilsa fired them. Rosa does not think Liesel is capable of insulting Ilsa for obsession over her dead son, and calmly accepts the news of having been fired.Does Ilsa adopt Liesel? ›
However, the Hubermanns die in the bombing of Himmel Street. Liesel is then adopted by Heinz and Ilsa Hermann, the mayor and his wife.What does Death give to Liesel? ›
Death jumps ahead and reveals Liesel's ultimate fate – she has survived and thrived beyond the bombing, and brought new life into the world in the form of her children. She is given a clear, beautiful sky for her last day.How do words save Liesel's life? ›
The power of words save Liesel by giving her a voice, they then save Liesel and Max as they seek refuge from their nightmares, and again they save Liesel's frightened neighbors as they take cover from the bombs, comforted by her reading.Was Rudy in love with Liesel? ›
Rudy And Liesel
Rudy, "the boy who refuses to fear the opposite sex" (8.23), loves Liesel from the moment he meets her. His love grows and grows right up to the bitter end. We're talking both friendly love and romantic love, in Rudy's case.
Does Rosa love Liesel? ›
Death, however, tells us that Rosa, surprisingly, has a very big heart, and does, in fact, deeply love both Hans and Liesel.. She also cares for Max when he is ill, and she holds Hans's accordion at night praying for Hans's, and everybody else's, safe return.What is the age gap between Liesel and Max? ›
Max and Liesel? Obviously, there's a big age difference here—ten or eleven years. Still, some readers find their relationship romantic. Some wonder if they get married after their reunion in 1945.How old is Liesel at the end? ›
Liesel is nine years old, almost ten, at the start of the novel. She is about fifteen toward the end of the novel when the bombs destroy her home and kill her loved ones.How does Max end up in Liesel's bed? ›
When Max arrives at the Hubermanns', Rosa feeds him soup and puts him to bed in Liesel's room. The next day, Hans takes Liesel to the basement and explains his connection to Max and reminds her of her promise to keep a secret. Max sleeps for three days, and when he wakes he moves to the basement.Does Hans slap Liesel? ›
When Hans slaps Liesel for saying she hates Hitler, he demonstrates his love for her by showing the extremes to which he will go in order to keep her from using words that will get her into trouble with the dangerous Nazi Party.Does Liesel wet the bed? ›
Liesel continues to have nightmares about her brother, and she wets her bed. Hans changes her sheets and discovers The Grave Digger's Handbook.Is Hans lucky or fate that he lives? ›
The doctor tells Hans he is a lucky man. Hans writes Liesel and Rosa and tells them of his good fortune. When Liesel shares the good news with Rudy that Hans is returning home, Rudy is happy for her but also wonders about his own father.Why is Hans Hubermann's punished? ›
The Nazi Party is punishing them for their actions, Hans for giving bread to a Jew and Alex Steiner for refusing to give up Rudy. The words on Hans's letter are powerful in that they are responsible for taking him away; they are also physically embedded in the paper, which represents their strength and permanence.Why did Max leave 33 Himmel Street? ›
When Hans publically shows his sympathy for Jewish people, Max is forced to leave Himmel Street, because Hans is afraid the Nazis will search his house. We next see Max on the road to Dachau where he's reunited, briefly, with Liesel.What does Max say in his sleep? ›
The only thing that tears her away is Rosa. Max says names in his sleep, "Isaac. Aunt Ruth. Sarah.
Does Liesel find Max? ›
After months of scanning every passing group of prisoners, Liesel sees Max in one of the parades of Jews through Molching. She cries out to him, then joins him in the parade.Does Liesel tell Rudy about Max? ›
When she finally gets up, Liesel finds Rudy and tells him about Max after making him promise many times to keep it a secret.Why is Liesel called Saumensch? ›
Another word that takes on great import is Saumensch, a name that Rosa calls Liesel when she does something wrong or is bothersome, but over time, Liesel comes to recognize this as a gruff term of endearment. She takes comfort in this in much the same way she takes comfort in Hans's cigarettes and accordion music.What does Liesel vow to never drink again? ›
She says she will never drink champagne again because she knows it will never taste as good as it did that day in July 1942.What does Hans sacrifice for Liesel? ›
Close attention to organization is seen in a conclusion that circles back to the introduction: Hans "put[s] his life on the line for the girl who was not of his own blood" because he loved her.What happens in Part 7 of the book thief? ›
A convoy of German trucks carrying Jews to the concentration camps at Dachau stops outside Molching, and the soldiers march the Jewish prisoners through the town. The residents come out of their houses to watch, and Liesel finds Hans in the crowd. An old man, struggling to keep up, falls repeatedly in the street.What year is it in Part 6 of the book thief? ›
"The Book Thief Part 6: Death's Diary: 1942." LitCharts.What happens to Liesel at the end of the book thief? ›
Many years later, or in the words of Death, "just yesterday", Liesel dies as an old woman in the suburbs of Sydney, Australia, with a family and many friends, though she has never forgotten Hans, Rosa, Max, her friend Rudy, and her brother.Why is the dice 7 sided in the book thief? ›
In The Book Thief, Death uses a seven-sided die to illustrate the dangers of harboring a Jew during the era of World War II. The dice not only symbolizes the risk of housing Max, but also the fact the Liesel, Hans, and Rosa, are “gambling” with their lives.What happens in chapter 8 of The Book Thief? ›
In 'Part 8' of The Book Thief, Alex Steiner, Rudy's father, and Hans Hubermann are recruited into the German Army, and the Gestapo try to recruit Rudy. Liesel and Rudy stay together through this difficult time and get into their fair share of trouble by giving Jews bread and breaking into Mr. Steiner's shop.
What happens in Part 9 of The Book Thief? ›
Hans suffers a broken leg, but Zucker breaks his neck and dies. Once the men get back to camp, the doctor examines Hans and tells him he'll be sent back to Munich to work in an office. The doctor tells Hans he is a lucky man. Hans writes Liesel and Rosa and tells them of his good fortune.What does Ilsa Hermann give Liesel in Part 7? ›
Ilsa Hermann's actions demonstrate her affections for Liesel. She wants to have Liesel as a guest in her house, and she even leaves the gift of a dictionary for her to find, essentially giving Liesel the gift of words so that Liesel can possess them.Why does Death refer to the years 79 and 1346? ›
Death is busy like in "79, like 1346" (45.1). (79 is a very long time ago. One reason Death might have been working overtime is the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. In 1346 Death would have been busy with victims of the bubonic plague.)Why does Rudy call Liesel Saumensch? ›
Another word that takes on great import is Saumensch, a name that Rosa calls Liesel when she does something wrong or is bothersome, but over time, Liesel comes to recognize this as a gruff term of endearment. She takes comfort in this in much the same way she takes comfort in Hans's cigarettes and accordion music.Does Liesel get married? ›
Answer and Explanation: In The Book Thief it is not said whom Liesel marries, only that she does and has a family. Shortly after the war has ended, she sees Max at the end of the story in an emotional, joyful reunion. Death then tells how he comes for Leisel when she is old and living in Sydney, Australia.Does Liesel ever kiss Rudy? ›
It's a sincere moment they share, and though she doesn't actually kiss Rudy, it's clear Liesel wants to from her thoughts. The moment is the closest they've been thus far in the novel.Why does Death like Liesel? ›
One of the main things he does is collect stories of courageous humans. Liesel is particularly interesting to him because of her courage and her personality. Stories like hers help keep him going. He retells these stories, he says, "to prove to myself that you, and your human existence, are worth it" (4.33).Is Death a he or she in The Book Thief? ›
Death is the narrator. He is fascinated by humans and the colors of the world, but he struggles throughout the novel to decipher how humans are capable of so much ugliness and so much beauty.What are 3 symbols in The Book Thief? ›
The most important symbols in the novel are the bread, the books, and the accordion. The act of giving bread is a symbol of caring and empathy.Why does Death not comfort the child in The Book Thief? ›
Why does Death not comfort the child? What does this imply about Death's ultimate power? Death did not help the child because he is not allowed to do that. Death power is very strong.