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All Characters · Liesel Meminger · Death · Hans Hubermann Next door is the Steiner family whose son Rudy is obsessed with the American athlete Jesse Owens. Liesel has to play goalie (the goal is two trashcans) because she is new. to the face) will come to define Liesel and Rudy's relationship. Not because I feel the need to romanticize their relationship, but because of the She knew both Max and Rudy at the same time, and she clearly liked Rudy, .. Max Vandenburg and Liesel Meminger were nothing more than platonic, When he finds her at Steiner's shop they fall to the ground in an embrace, reunited. Nelisse in 'The Book Thief', playing as Liesel Meminger and Rudy Steiner! Rudy Steiner, Red Queen, Fan Girl, Book Quotes, Relationship Goals, Book Stuff, .
Ilsa informs Liesel that she knows the girl has been entering the library and stealing books, but she does not mind. They hurry to the nearest approved shelter, the basement of a family named the Fiedlers.
The Book Thief
Other occupants include Rudy and his family, and Frau Holtzapfel—a spiteful neighbor engaged in a long-standing feud with Rosa Hubermann. This first warning, they later discover, was a false alarm. It is soon followed, however, by another real warning. Crowded in a basement filled with fearful civilians, Liesel opens The Whistler and begins reading in an attempt to calm everyone down. Soon enough, they are all engrossed in the tale; when the siren sounds to indicate safety, they all remain in place to allow Liesel to finish reading the first chapter.
They return home to find that Molching has narrowly escaped the bombs. In the days that follow, Frau Holtzapfel appears at the Hubermann's front door.
She tells Liesel that she enjoyed the first chapter of The Whistler, and she would like the girl to come to her house regularly and read her the rest of the book. In exchange, Frau Holtzapfel agrees to stop spitting on the Hubermann's front door—a nasty tradition spawned from her feud with Rosa—and also agrees to give the Hubermanns her ration of coffee.
Soon after, a group of Nazi soldiers decide to march their cargo of Jews through the streets of Molching on their way to the concentration camp at Dachau. As the residents watch, one of the Jews falls behind and repeatedly drops to his knees, only to be forced back to his feet by the soldiers. As he passes, Hans Hubermann walks out into the assembly of Jews and gives the man a piece of bread. Both the Jew and Hans receive lashes from a whip; Hans's paint cart is overturned and he is called a Jew-lover.
Only afterward does Hans realize that his actions have placed his family and Max in jeopardy. Fearing that Nazi officials will come to search their house, Max packs his things and departs under cover of night.
He tells Liesel that he has left her something, but that she will not receive it until the time is right. His excellent academic and athletic abilities have attracted their attention, and they would like the boy to attend a special school. His fearful father, however, refuses to let him go. In November, Hans Hubermann is surprised to finally receive a letter approving his application to be a member of the Nazi Party. It is followed soon after by a draft notice enlisting him to serve in the German army.
Liesel soon discovers that Rudy's father Alex will suffer the same fate. One night, after Hans has left for the war, Liesel wakes to find Rosa—usually so loud and often outwardly callous—sitting on her bed, silently holding her husband's accordion.
Alex serves in Vienna, using his skills as a tailor to repair clothing destined for soldiers fighting in Russia. In December ofanother parade of Jews is marched through Molching. Rudy decides to leave bread in the street for the hungry Jews to take—inspired by Hans Hubermann's infamous act of generosity—and Liesel helps him. They are chased off by Nazi soldiers, but only after some of the Jews find and eat the offerings.
Liesel is both disappointed and gladdened that Max is not among the captured Jews. For Christmas, Rosa gives Liesel a final gift from Max, which she had been holding onto at his request. It is another book created by him, titled The Word Shaker. It is a dreamlike tale of a girl, the power of words, and the young man who inspires her to use them.
The Last Human Stranger Liesel returns to the mayor's house and takes another book, The Last Human Stranger, along with a plate of cookies that has been left for her. She is surprised when Ilsa Hermann opens the door and finds her there; they have a brief but pleasant conversation. Later, Liesel meets Frau Holtzapfel's son Michael, who lost a hand fighting in Stalingrad; her other son, Robert, died there.
Michael informs Rosa that Hans Junior is fighting there as well, but does not know his fate. Hans, while preparing to ride out with his unit for clean-up duty, is forced to switch seats with an intimidating soldier named Reinhold Zucker.
The truck they ride in blows a tire and loses control, flipping several times. Hans suffers a broken leg, but Zucker—having taken Hans's usual seat—is killed. Because of his injury, Hans is sent back home. The Book Thief In July ofa few months after Hans has returned home, Michael Holtzapfel hangs himself, guilt-ridden over the loss of his brother. In August, Liesel—who makes a habit of searching the occasional parades of captured Jews—finds Max Vandenburg.
She runs to Max and embraces him, undeterred by the cracking whips of the Nazi overseers. The soldiers separate them, and Rudy holds Liesel back as Max is taken away.
- Characters: The Book Thief (and Friends)
She later reveals the secret of Max's hiding to Rudy. Liesel sneaks once more into Ilsa Hermann's library for another book, but becomes angry over the unfairness of the world and instead tears a book apart. She leaves a letter of apology and promises never to return. Three days later, Ilsa Hermann visits her at home.
She brings a special book as a gift: She calls it The Book Thief. She finishes the book in October with the following line: Everyone on her street is killed—Hans and Rosa Hubermann, Frau Holtzapfel, Rudy Steiner and his siblings—except Liesel, who happened to be in the safest place possible.
She is buried beneath the rubble, but when workers find her, she is unhurt. Dazed and unable to comprehend the devastation, she drops her book and cries out for her papa, Hans. After her street was destroyed, Liesel was taken in by Ilsa Hermann and her husband, the mayor.
Erik Steiner returned from the war to find that his family had been killed; eventually he reopened his clothing shop, and Liesel often worked there with him.
In October ofafter the end of the war, Liesel was reunited with Max Vandenburg, who was fortunate enough to survive the concentration camps. Conversing with Death, Liesel is surprised that he has kept and read her book so many times.
She wants to know if it is possible for Death to understand a story so centered on life and living. Rudy and Liesel briefly join his gang of thieves, stealing various items such as potatoes and onions. He is a generous leader, sharing his various takes with Liesel and Rudy. Arthur later moves to Cologne, where his younger sister is killed—presumably by Allied bombing.
When Hans notices in the mids that the number of customers for his painting business are dwindling, Bollinger points out that he should be a member of the Nazi Party if he wants to keep working.
The book is read by Allan Corduner, and is currently available on compact disc or as an audio download through http: This version is currently available for purchase through http: Viktor Chemmel Viktor Chemmel is the young man who takes over as leader of the gang of young thieves previously led by Arthur Berg. After Viktor offers Liesel and Rudy almost nothing for their efforts on a thievery run, Rudy insults him and Viktor beats him up. Later, Viktor throws one of Liesel's books into the river.
Strong Female Characters: Liesel Meminger
Death Death is the narrator of The Book Thief, and participates in the story by taking the lives of many of the characters at various times. He first notices Liesel when he takes the life of her young brother Werner. Later, after he collects the many victims of the bombing on Himmel Street, he finds Liesel's memoir on a pile of trash, and takes it.
From it he learns Liesel's story, which he shares with the reader. When Tommy fails to hear his commands during marching, both Tommy and Rudy—who stands up for his friend—become his favorite targets of punishment.
After Rudy moves to a different Hitler Youth group, he takes pleasure in winning several events at an athletic competition as Deutscher looks on. Frau Diller Frau is the owner of the corner shop on Himmel Street. The Fiedlers The Fiedlers are the family with the deepest basement on Himmel Street, which is chosen as the meeting location for Himmel Street residents in the event of an air raid.
It is in their basement that Liesel calms both the children and adults by reading excerpts from her book, The Whistler. Like the others on Himmel Street, they die during a surprise bombing by Allied planes. Frau Heinrich Frau Heinrich is the foster-care agent who transports Liesel on her final journey to her new home with the Hubermanns.
When Liesel arrives, she is at first unwilling to get out of Frau Heinrich's car. Later, when Hans Hubermann contacts her regarding the whereabouts of Liesel's biological mother, she states that she does not know where the woman is. In June ofhe mentions in an interview for the local paper that the citizens of Molching should prepare for harder times to come. A week later, he and his wife fire Rosa Hubermann as their launderer. Liesel's foster mother Rosa washes their laundry, and the Hermanns are her last remaining customers until they too must stop using her services as the war rages on.
On the day of the bonfire, she sees Liesel steal a book from the burned remains;she later invites Liesel to use her library, which she does on a regular basis, forging a bond between the two.
Frau Holtzapfel Frau Holtzapfel is the next-door neighbor of the Hubermanns. She and Rosa Hubermann are longtime enemies for an unknown reason, and Frau Holtzapfel faithfully spits on the Hubermann's front door every time she passes. After being huddled together in a basement during an air raid, Frau Holtzapfel makes a deal with Rosa: He loses his hand fighting in Stalingrad, while his brother dies there. After he returns home to live with Frau Holtzapfel, he cannot overcome the guilt of surviving when his brother did not.
He eventually commits suicide by hanging himself. Hans Hubermann Hans Hubermann is Liesel's foster father, reading teacher, and eventually the most significant person in her life. He is a tall, quiet man with a gentle nature whose sympathy for Jews results in him being eyed with suspicion by local members of the Nazi Party, as well as his son Hans Junior. He agrees to secretly harbor a Jew named Max Vandenburg in his basement, an event which places him and his family in great danger.
Although he escapes death twice as a soldier, he is killed during the Allied bombing of Himmel Street. A faithful member of the Nazi Party, he has arguments with his father over the older man's apparent lack of support for Nazism.
After one argument, on the day of Hitler's birthday celebration, Hans Junior leaves his parents' house and never returns. He later dies in combat in Russia. She is a brash, strict woman who frequently refers to those around her as filthy pigs. Later, Liesel realizes that Rosa's harsh exterior masks a deep love for the people in her life.
Like most of the residents of Himmel Street, she is killed by Allied bombs during an air strike. She works as a housemaid for a family in Munich, and occasionally returns to Molching on holidays to visit her parents. She is quiet but kind, like her father. When his shop is vandalized inHans Hubermann paints over a slur that has been written on his door. The two often fist-fought each other as part of a friendly rivalry.
When Max faces persecution and possible imprisonment as a Jew, Kugler—who is not a Jew, and therefore safe from the reach of Nazis—hides Max for nearly two years. When Kugler finds out he is being relocated to Poland, he meets with Hans Hubermann to see if Hans will help Max hide.
Liesel Meminger Liesel Meminger, the main character in The Book Thief, is a girl who is left in the care of a foster family at a young age.
Her brother dies on the way to the foster home, and at the cemetery where he is buried, Liesel sees a book resting in the snow. She takes it, and thus begins her career as a book thief. Ilsa Hermann catches her stealing a book, and invites her to borrow more books from her massive library. Liesel becomes an avid reader, and Ilsa Hermann eventually encourages her to write her own book.
She does, working in the basement of her foster family's home, where she once spent time with Max Vanderburg, a Jew in hiding. One night, while Liesel is reading over her finished book in the basement, Allied forces bomb Himmel Street, killing everyone except for Liesel. She is then taken in and raised by Ilsa Hermann and her husband, the mayor. The book she has written, lost in the rubble of Himmel Street, is found by Death and kept as an example of how humans are as capable of wonderful things as they are of horrible things.
Paula Meminger Liesel's biological mother, PaulaMeminger, leaves Liesel with a foster family in Munich and, though Liesel later tries to contact her, disappears. Liesel later figures out that it is likely she was taken away by Hitler for being a communist.
Werner Meminger Werner Meminger, Liesel's younger brother, dies after having a coughing fit on the train journey to Munich with his mother and sister. Liesel and her mother bury the boy at a local cemetery before continuing their journey; this cemetery is where Liesel steals her first book, The Grave Digger's Handbook.
Plagued by chronic ear infections and scarred by several related operations, Tommy is partially deaf and prone to facial twitches. Rudy Steiner stands up for Tommy during Nazi Youth activities after he fails to hear commands, and both boys are frequently punished together. Like the others on Himmel Street, he is killed during the Allied bombing. Pfiffikus Pfiffikus is a foul-mouthed old man who lives on Himmel Street. No one seems to know his real name, but he is called Pfiffikus because he constantly whistles a tune as he walks.
He is one of the Himmel Street residents who later shares the Fiedlers' basement during air raids. After Hans is injured when their transport truck rolls over, Schipper—who likes Hans due to his generosity when he wins at cards—recommends that Hans be allowed to return home and work in an office in Munich. Ludwig Schmeikl Ludwig Schmeikl is a boy in Liesel's class who teases her for being unable to read during her first months in Molching. One day during recess, after he relentlessly insults her, Liesel snaps and gives him a serious beating.
The two later make amends during the bonfire at Hitler's birthday celebration.
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One day, he offers one soldier a chance to perform a non-combat-related task. Knowing that the other men will face the possibility of death, Erik recommends Hans for the job. He works as a tailor and owns his own clothing store in Molching. When Nazi officials want to take Rudy to a special officer's school due to his athletic and academic prowess, Alex refuses to let him go.
Because of this, he is sent off to help with the war effort. Though he survives, his entire family is killed by the bombing of Himmel Street. Rudy Steiner Rudy Steiner is Liesel's best friend, frequent companion, and occasional partner in thievery. He often looks out for Liesel, and frequently attempts—unsuccessfully—to get her to kiss him. Rudy is terrorized by his Hitler Youth leader, Franz Deutscher; after switching Hitler Youth groups, however, he excels at both athletics and academics.
Nazi officials notice this, and ask his parents to allow him to attend a special Nazi officer's school they are creating. Rudy's parents refuse to let him go. He dies with his mother and siblings when the bombs are dropped on Himmel Street.
Strong Female Characters: Liesel Meminger | Jo Writes Stuff
The two served together during World War I. Vandenburg, a Jew, teaches Hans how to play the accordion, and is responsible for Hans surviving when Vandenburg and everyone else in their unit is killed in combat: Hans keeps Vandenburg's accordion, and promises his wife that he will do whatever he can to repay the debt he owes to Vandenburg for saving his life.
He lives for a time in the Hubermanns' basement, and becomes close friends with Liesel.
He makes Liesel two books of stories and sketches. Eventually, he leaves the Hubermanns' basement because he fears capture. Later, he is indeed captured, and Liesel sees him being marched through town on the way to a concentration camp. Max survives, and after the war he reunites with Liesel. When playing cardshe is a gloating winner and a sore loser. After Hans takes all of his cigarettes used in place of moneyZucker gets angry and holds a grudge against him.
Later, Zucker forces Hans to change seats with him on the transport truck as they head out to duty. The truck rolls over, and Zucker is the only one on board who is killed.
Most of the major events in the story revolve around this theme. Even Hitler's rise to power, it is suggested, is largely the result of the popularity of his autobiography, Mein Kampf.
Later, the power of this book is used against the Nazi cause: Hans hides the key he sends to Max inside a copy of it, knowing that no one would suspect the sender or receiver of such a book to be engaging in suspicious activities. The book serves a final purpose when Max tears out its pages and paints over them to create his own books. For Liesel, her first book helps her hold on to the memory of her dead brother and absent mother.
It is also the gateway for Liesel to forge a loving relationship with Hans, who teaches her how to read using the book. Words also bind Liesel to Max, who creates his own homemade books as gifts to her since he has nothing else to offer. Ilsa Hermann is tied to Liesel by books as well: Their relationship is almost ended by written words—the letter Ilsa gives her for her mother, terminating her employment—and is also saved by them when Ilsa writes Liesel a letter of apology and gives her a dictionary.
Finally, written words save Liesel's life. Because she is in the basement, rereading her work on her own memoir, she is the only survivor on Himmel Street when the Allied bombs are dropped. It is this book that leads Death to remember and share Liesel's story with the reader. The novel, however, also depicts certain limitations to the power of the written word. For Hans, letters are insufficient to convey his thoughts and emotions while he is away as a soldier.
Also, books are dependent upon one thing for their power: The books lining the walls of Ilsa Hermann's library serve no function—and indeed, the room itself appears cold and lifeless—until Liesel begins reading there. Liesel's own book is never read by another living soul, and is tossed onto a pile of trash after the bombing.
It is very nearly lost before Death spots it and saves it. Duality Duality is the presence of different—often opposing—forces or traits in a single thing or person. This is used throughout The Book Thief to emphasize both the wonderful and terrible possibilities of humankind. This dual nature is shown in nearly every character, including the most virtuous. Liesel herself is, as the title suggests, a thief; taken out of the context of her life, many of her actions would be considered immoral or worthy of punishment.
She steals books, food, and even money from her foster mother, and she destroys one of Ilsa Hermann's books. He later threatens her with awful consequences if she ever reveals the secret of Max Vandenburg. He does these things for her protection, and he does them reluctantly; however, this illustrates the potential within even the most virtuous people to hurt those they love.
Rosa Hubermann is a clearer example of duality. She is brash, insulting, and speaks venomously of nearly everyone with whom she comes into contact—especially her husband Hans. When Hans is conscripted to serve in the war, however, her true feelings about him are revealed; Liesel discovers her sitting on the edge of her bed, cradling his accordion—an instrument she previously seemed to despise—and silently praying for his safe return.
Duality is perhaps most dramatically shown in Death's observations of humans. As the narrator, Death takes great pains to delineate the interconnected nature of the actions and reactions of the characters. Although many events might be described as lucky or unlucky occurrences, their causes are nearly always revealed. The first time, he is saved because his friend Erik Vandenburg recommends him for a non-combat assignment; the indebtedness he feels to Erik, who dies that day, eventually results in him taking in Erik's son Max, a Jew in hiding, twenty years later.
This in turn causes dramatic changes in the lives of Liesel and Rosa as well. At the same time, Hans's friendship with Kurt results in an enduring sympathy for persecuted Jews, which ultimately leads to Max having to leave the Hubermann's basement for fear of discovery by Nazis suspicious of Hans. It also leads Hans back to military duty, pressed into service as a sort of punishment for his sympathizing with Jews.
Research the topic of strategic bombing during World War II. Who engaged in it? What were the reasons for bombing non-military targets, and how were the targets chosen? What did this accomplish, and what were the consequences? In your opinion, was the practice justified by what it accomplished?
Do you think the bombing of civilian targets is justified in other situations? Why or why not? Write a paper summarizing your findings and taking a position on the issue of strategic bombing.
The main message of The Book Thief, however, is rather opposite: Do you think words hold the same power as physical action? Provide examples—from your personal experience or from historical research—to support your point. The Hitler Youth organization was meant to indoctrinate young Germans in the ideas and beliefs of the Nazi Party. Enrolling in the Hitler Youth was made mandatory inthough enforcement was often lax; many young people, as shown in The Book Thief, thought the organization was beneficial only as an athletic or social organization, and ignored or dismissed its ideological underpinnings.
Pope Benedict XVIshortly after he was selected as the head of the Roman Catholic Church inbriefly came under fire for having been a member of the Hitler Youth.
Do you think it is fair to condemn young people who participated in the Hitler Youth as supporters of Nazism? What about adults who were drafted to fight for Nazi Germany? One important element of The Book Thief is the notion of duality in humans—the idea that people are capable of both horrible and wonderful things. Death sees the horrible results of human action on a daily basis, and therefore cherishes the rare examples he finds—such as Liesel's story—that convince him humans are actually worthy beings.
This dual nature is shown to exist in nearly every person in The Book Thief; Rosa Hubermann in particular is shown to be stern and cruel at first, but gradually her soft and loving side is revealed.
At the same time, some figures—such as Hitler and Reinhold Zucker—are never revealed as having any redeeming qualities. In your opinion, do all people contain the potential for both good and bad, or are some people simply good while others are bad?
Is there a danger in viewing certain people such as Hitler as simply evil, without attempting to understand their actions? Similarly, Hans escapes death a second time because he beats his fellow soldiers at cards—a game largely of chance. His win, even though he is gracious and offers some of his winnings back to the other players, angers another soldier, who later forces Hans to change seats with him on their transport truck.
During that trip, the truck rolls over, and the other soldier—sitting where Hans would have sat—is the only casualty. In addition, Hans's generosity when winning at cards persuades his sergeant to recommend that he be able to return home to his family. This lucky turn of events results in Hans being present on Himmel Street when the Allied bombs are dropped, resulting in his death.
A memoir is a personal record of events in the writer's own life. Hitler's Mein Kampf, mentioned often in the novel, is a memoir, as is the book that Liesel writes about her own experiences.
In addition, The Book Thief itself often serves as a memoir for its narrator, Death; in addition to revealing his own experiences with Liesel and the people in her life, there are also sections throughout the book labeled Death's Diary that relate brief glimpses of the narrator's other grim work during World War II. Foreshadowing and Flash-Forwards Foreshadowing, or the suggestion of what will happen later in the story, is used extensively in The Book Thief.
For example, after revealing how many times he saw the book thief, the narrator goes on to provide detailed descriptions of each occasion—though two of those events will not take place until near the end of the book. Another example of foreshadowing occurs when Liesel convinces herself that Ilsa Hermann did not see her take a book from the bonfire.
She was just waiting for the right moment. The foreshadowing in The Book Thief often explicitly reveals the fates of the characters. The narrator tells the reader in no uncertain terms what will happen, as when he states about Reinhold Zucker shortly after introducing him: Stories Within Stories The Book Thief contains many stories within the main tale being told by the narrator. This includes brief asides by the narrator, which touch upon events not directly related to Liesel's story. In addition, the books Liesel reads are mostly fictional works, and the basic plot of each is described for the reader, often along with snippets of text from many of the books.
The clearest examples of stories within the story, however, are the ones Max creates for Liesel. They are even presented in a different format than the rest of the book, in what is meant to represent Max's own hand-written and hand-drawn work. Founded inthe party focused on a platform of national unity and pride, coupled with the darker goals of driving Jews out of the country and expanding Germany's borders at the expense of neighboring countries.
Adolf Hitler became a member and quickly rose to the highest ranks due to his ambition and oratory skills; he attempted to seize control of the German government inbut was unsuccessful and instead spent a little over one year in jail.
During this time, he wrote Mein Kampf My Strugglea book that offered a positive and persuasive view of his actions and political beliefs. As economic conditions worsened in the years that followed—in part due to the Great Depressionwhich had a drastic effect on the global economy—Hitler's promises of a prosperous Germany won over a large percentage of the population.
By the early s, the Nazi Party had won substantial power in the Reichstag, or German parliament, not by force but by election. Hitler, however—despite his popularity—was not elected. Instead, as the governing bodies of Germany fell into chaos, the president appointed Hitler Chancellor of Germany. He quickly seized control of government and military offices, silencing his critics and any other social elements he considered undesirable. The Hitler Youth was created incomposed primarily of the children of Nazi Party members.
Like the Nazi Party itself, the organization grew slowly but steadily untilwhen membership expanded dramatically; between andHitler Youth membership skyrocketed from 26, to over 3. The organization was meant to serve as pre-military training, and older members of the Hitler Youth almost inevitably went on to become Nazi soldiers fighting on the front lines or officers in charge of expanding Hitler Youth membership.
Equivalent organizations for females and for younger children were also formed; these more closely resembled activity clubs than military groups, though they also provided the Nazi Party with an opportunity to indoctrinate youngsters with their beliefs. Although Hitler Youth began with voluntary membership, it was later required for all eligible German children.
As the German war effort faltered in the early s, the Nazi Party began to call up younger and younger members of the Hitler Youth to active duty in the national militia. Members as young as fourteen were called upon to serve in antiaircraft units, and were killed in the increased bombings within Germany's borders. With the defeat of Germany in by Allied forces, the Hitler Youth and its related organizations were quickly disbanded.
Many German children who had been forced into compulsory Hitler Youth programs were often stigmatized later in life due to their involvement with organizations so closely associated with Nazism. The justification for these bombings was twofold: Munich, the large city near which Liesel and her foster family live in The Book Thief, was subjected to over seventy separate bombing attacks by air.
One of the worst bombings, however, was reserved for the city of Dresden in February of The city was obliterated in two days of nonstop attacks—the bombs set off fires that raged uncontrolled in their wake. Conservative estimates of civilian casualties—deaths of those not involved in combat in any way—exceed twenty thousand, and some believe that as many as 40, German citizens were killed.
In all, historians estimate that approximatelyGerman civilians were killed by Allied bombings during the war—dwarfing the estimated loss of around 14, British citizens due to German air attacks.
Rudy who is the best player gets a penalty kick against Liesel, but she blocks it. He hits her with a snowball and she curses at him with Rosa's favorite word, "saukerl.
Active Themes Death gives some facts about Rudy: People think he is crazy because of "The Jesse Owens Incident," which will be explained later. Rudy seems destined to be Liesel's best friend. He starts to walk to school with her and tell her about the people of Himmel Street, especially Frau Diller, who owns a shop where if you don't "heil Hitler" when you enter, she won't serve you. Rudy and Liesel walk past Rudy's father's shop he is a tailor and the Jewish ghetto, which has many broken windows and doors painted with the Star of David.
Here Rudy acts as an assistant to Death in describing the inhabitants of Himmel Street and setting the scene. The tone suddenly turns ominous as they pass the Jewish ghetto, but again it is a kind of situational irony — the reader associates Jewishness with tragedy at this time and place in history, but the characters do not yet know what is coming.
Active Themes Rudy starts to spend time with Liesel at school too, and Death implies that he is already in love with her. One day the two children taunt Pfiffikus who is called that because he likes to whistleand Pfiffikus curses obscenely at both of them as they run away. Afterwards Rudy challenges Liesel to race, and proposes that he gets to kiss her if he wins.
She is confused, but she wants to stop being goalie in soccer if she wins. They run and slip in the mud but the race is a draw.