Commemorating the infamous dictator Adolf Hitler’s 127th Birthday with some precious wisdom from the bestselling World War II based novel, ‘The Book Thief’ by Australian author Markus Zusak.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK: It is the heart-warming story of a girl named Liesel Meminger, and her infatuation with words, set against the backdrop of mid-War Nazi Germany. Add a hidden Jew, some football buddies and a whole lot of book thievery into the mix, and voila! You’ve got an international bestseller!
- The Power of Words– Shakespeare may have mentioned in his sonnets that words are the mightiest in this world; that they can never be destroyed. But you need to read the story of this little German girl, whose fascination with this wonderful but mysterious realm of knowledge gave her the title, ‘The Book Thief.’ It was her passion for writing that saved her from being killed by the bombs that took away her home and family from her. It was her love for words that later on could enable her to tell the World the story of her life. They were the words which helped her cope with grief, to vent her feelings, and ultimately, to lend comfort to a homeless Jew.
- A promise once given should be kept– The book portrays Hans Hubermann, Liesel’s foster father, whose own son was a spirited soldier under the Nazi flag, hiding a Jew in his basement. It was not an obligation. True, he had a promise to keep, but had he wanted to, he would have easily given him away to the German police. But did he do so? Did he fling away the wretched human that had crawled to his doorstep with only a promise made long before as his aid? No. He took a great risk. At the price of his own life, and his family’s, he kept the Jew. Not because he had no other choice, but because he was a man of his word.
- Friendship doesn’t have to be between equals– Even though Hitler branded the Jews as inferior to Germans, Liesel aka the Book Thief never thought twice before forming a deep bond of friendship with Max, the Jew hiding in her basement. They shared their dreams, their stories with each other, and never did Liesel ever think him to be different from her. To her, he was like a kinsman- they were both lost souls with a forgotten purpose in life. It was Max who started Liesel’s habit of writing by giving her Mein Kampf, Hitler’s autobiography, but with all the pages painted white and waiting for her to fill them.
- Appreciating the things that we take for granted– Max Vandenburg was a Jew. And being a Jew in Nazi Germany was no easy business, even though he was in hiding. He couldn’t go outside, he couldn’t look out the windows and he couldn’t even walk around the basement. Why? Because if someone saw him, not only would they take him away to a concentration camp, but they would take away Liesel’s family too. It was then that he realized the true value of a cool breeze, the warm feeling of standing in the sunshine and the cold firmness of snow. When Liesel made up a snowman in the basement for him, the value of the things that he had dismissed as insignificant touched his heart.
- Germans hated Hitler too– Yes, the Jews and the Communists weren’t alone. Hitler opened a real can of worms when Germany entered the Second World War. People who didn’t get register with the Nazi Party were cut out of jobs. All the youth and the men were sent to the battlefront without a choice, and most of them never returned. Prices soared sky-high and folks had no choice but to steal from others. Hence, Nazi Germany was a hodge-podge of people with uncertain loyalties, stirred passions and hungry stomachs. No wonder the Allies won.