How does Zusak's The Book Thief reflect the practices and theories of Hitler's attempt to indoctrinate Germany's youth?  

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Zusak presents Hitler's efforts to indoctrinate German youth by writing scenes surrounding historical events such as book burning bonfires, forcing the boys to join the Hitler Youth, and peer pressure to hate Jews.

First, from Part Two in the section entitled "100 Percent Pure German Sweat," Liesel attends the town's bonfire...

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Zusak presents Hitler's efforts to indoctrinate German youth by writing scenes surrounding historical events such as book burning bonfires, forcing the boys to join the Hitler Youth, and peer pressure to hate Jews.

First, from Part Two in the section entitled "100 Percent Pure German Sweat," Liesel attends the town's bonfire where books unsympathetic to Hitler's cause are destroyed. Men, women, and children are all invited to the event, which starts out with a parade of the Hitler Youth. The town is decorated with Nazi flags and the energy surrounding the event is intoxicating. Everyone is smiling and having a good time as book after book is thrown onto the bonfire. The descriptions in the text about the bonfire help to show how such an energized event brings people together to bond in the name of all things Hitler:

"The orange flames waved at the crowd as paper and print dissolved inside them . . . On the other side, beyond the blurry heat, it was possible to see brownshirts and swastikas joining hands. You didn't see people. Only uniforms and signs . . . To their left, flames and burning books were cheered like heroes" (112-113).

The bonfire events are one way Hitler indoctrinated and pressured people to believe as he did. It's difficult to revolt against an ideology when everyone in town is participating in an event that supports it.

Within the Hitler Youth divisions that parade into the town square, Liesel sees Tommy and Rudy. The boys had no choice to join the Hitler Youth. It is required of all young boys, part of the Nazis' goal to raise strong German boys to believe as he does and to be completely loyal to his will. Hitler wants only the best Germans, too. Since Tommy can't hear well, he doesn't hear the command to stop and runs into the boy in front of him. "It was only a small moment, but it was also a preview of troubles to come. For Tommy. For Rudy" (108). Tommy's disability will cause him strife later because Hitler demands perfection in every way from his German youth. The peer pressure and disgust Tommy feels from others because of his lack of hearing shows how the youth are indoctrinated to hate everyone who is not perfect physically and mentally.

Finally, since the book focuses on Liesel's experiences during World War II, how she feels and what she notices as far as Jews, Nazis, and Hitler are concerned show how children of the time must have been influenced by such practices of indoctrination. How her father is treated, for example, reflects the practices and theories of Hitler's beliefs towards Jews. In Part Four, for example, Hans paints over Jewish slurs on the door of at Kleinmann's Clothing. "A new slur was painted on the door within sixteen hours" (183). The desecration of Jewish businesses as well as the Jewish population's eventual disappearance from town sends quite a definite message as to who is allowed to live and work in Germany and who is not. Then, in "The Long Walk to Dachau," Hans offers an old Jewish man some bread as Nazis march a large group of Jews towards Dachau (394). Not only is the Jewish man beaten, but Hans is beaten as well. This is a clear message to both adult and child about what practices are welcome and which are not under Hitler's rule. 

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