In The Book Thief, what group does Liesel join at age ten?

Quick answer:

Liesel has to join the Hitler Youth at age ten, becoming part of the BDM or girls' section.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

At age ten, Liesel has to join the BDM, which is the girls' section of the Hitler Youth. She has to attend two-hour meetings every Wednesday and Saturday and wear a brown uniform. She learns to march, sew, and roll bandages. Sometimes, she has to go on hiking trips. The BDM also requires her to participate in Nazi events, such as occasional book burnings. It is at one of these book burnings that she learns the Nazis hate the communists as well as the Jews.

Leisel knew about the Nazi persecution of the Jews but not about their hatred of the communists. Because she believes the Nazis took her mother away for being a communist, she turns on the Nazis and tells Hans that she hates them. Hans tells her she can say that in their home but must never say so in public. He does the Nazi salute, and she follows his lead even though she does not want to. He does this to protect her from danger.

Leisel has very little control over her life or activities under the Nazis. She has almost no choice but to join the BDM and suppress her real feelings about the regime.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial