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Did the bombing of Molching in The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak really occur?

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ravenwings993 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 2, 2010 at 11:01 PM via web

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Did the bombing of Molching in The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak really occur?

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mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 3, 2010 at 12:57 AM (Answer #1)

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Molching is a fictional place; there is no Molching, Germany.  There is, however, a city called Olching, which happened to also be next to the concentration camp of Dachau; perhaps that is what Zusak was aiming for in his writing.  Based on that, the answer would be that no, the bombing did NOT occur, because in reality, the town did not exist.

However, many German cities were bombed during WWII.  The Allies were trying to destroy munitions factories, weapons warehouses, send messages, and eradicate enemy troops.  All of those intents led the Allies to bomb many German cities.  The most notable bombings occurred in Dresden and Hamburg, where thousands of innocent civilian lives were taken as the bombs wiped out most of the cities.  In Dresden, the heat and fires caused by the bombs was so intense that even if you didn't die in the actual attack, many people were burned to death or suffocated as the oxygen in the bomb shelters was eaten by the fires.  So, even though Molching might not have existed, that is about the only part of the tale that was not historically accurate; many Germans died in bombings, and Zusack recounts what might have occurred quite well.  It is a historical accuracy to describe a town being bombed, especially ones close to strategic war points, like the concentration camp that was so close to the town in that story.

I hope that those thoughts helped; good luck!

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andrewc12 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 5, 2012 at 6:07 AM (Answer #2)

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There was a bombing in the real city of Olching (which is the real-life counterpath of Molching), but the bombing wasn't as dramatic as the one portrayed in the novel. Compared to the novel, only 22 people died. (I'm not really sure as to how many people died in the novel, but it must have been more than 22, or around 22)

So yea. Your welcome.

 

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