Where are Liesel and her family expected to hide out during the air raid drills in The Book Thief?

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As Death tells us, the Hubermanns live in one of the many small, boxlike houses on Himmel Street. There's something more than a little ironic about this name because "himmel" is the German word for heaven, and there's nothing in the slightest bit heavenly about the experiences that the Hubermanns...

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As Death tells us, the Hubermanns live in one of the many small, boxlike houses on Himmel Street. There's something more than a little ironic about this name because "himmel" is the German word for heaven, and there's nothing in the slightest bit heavenly about the experiences that the Hubermanns and many other Germans will soon encounter.

The Hubermannses' house has a flat roof and a shallow basement of storage. Back in 1939, at the start of the war, this wasn't really much of a problem. But by 1942, with the war in full swing and with Germany now being regularly bombed by the Americans and the British, it most certainly is. Because now the Hubermanns have to run the gauntlet of regular bombing raids—and these are not drills but the real thing—and the lack of depth afforded by their basement doesn't provide them with adequate protection.

So, like many of their neighbors, the Hubermanns have no choice but to rush down the street to find a better air raid shelter whenever the bombs begin to drop. These bombing raids cause widespread death and devastation, and so it's imperative that Liesel and her adoptive family find somewhere safe to hide.

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