How does it take courage to oppose Hitler? Discuss how the Hubermanns and Liesel demonstrate courage throughout The Book Thief.How does it take courage to oppose Hitler? Discuss how the Hubermanns...
How does it take courage to oppose Hitler? Discuss how the Hubermanns and Liesel demonstrate courage throughout The Book Thief.
One of the central ways in which the Hubermanns and Liesel show opposition to Hitler is through the way that they keep Max Vandenburg hidden in their basement in strict opposition to Hitler's policy of eugenics and his attempt to destroy the Jewish race. This of course involved massive courage, and of course Hans Hubermann shows this courage elsewhere when he chooses to give bread to a starving Jew that is part of a big group of Jews that is being marched to a nearby concentration camp. After this act of kindness which is described as a "futile miracle," both the Jew and Hans Hubermann are whipped publicly by a German soldier. To defy such prejudice openly would have taken massive courage, but it also has the effect of attracting unwanted attention on the Hubberman house. Note what Hans Hubermann says when he arrives home after being whipped:
"What was I thinking?" His eyes closed tighter and opened again. His overalls creased. There was paint and blood on his hands. And breadcrumbs. How different from the bread of summer. "Oh my God, Liesel, what have I done?"
This of course necessitates the removal of Max from their household. However, we can see from these two acts of stowing a Jew in their basement and then giving bread to a starving Jew that Hans Hubermann in particular shows significant courage in opposing Hitler.
She may not know it as much as the reader knows it, but everything inside of Liesel is courageously opposing a world she doesn't fully understand but knows she disagrees with. The stealing of the book from the fire. Keeping quiet about Max's hiding. Stealing apples with Rudy Steiner. Meeting with Max in the basement, and attempting to understand him.
Hitler's power was based off his ability to brainwash an entire nation, starting, predominantly with the children. Liesel refuses to allow the lies and propoganda to change who she is at the core.