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Copy of The Book Thief

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Emily Swan

on 22 May 2013

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Transcript of Copy of The Book Thief

Milena Flament "...it [Nazi philosophy] by no means believes in an equality of races, but along with their difference it recognizes their higher or lesser value and feels itself obligated to promote the victory of the better and stronger, and demand the subordination of the inferior and weaker in accordance with the eternal will that dominates this universe.“ –Hitler, Mein Kampf Markus Zusak By
Chyenne Phillpotts &
Emily Swan 'We have these images of the straight -marching line of boys and the "Heil Hitlers" and this idea that everyone in Germany were in it together. But there still were rebellious children and people who didn't follow the rules and people who hid Jews and other people in their houses. So there's another side to Nazi Germany' - Zusak That was Zusak's aim. He wanted readers of any age to understand that there was another side to Nazi Germany. That there were the ones who defied the Nazi propaganda. He is trying to give them justice, that they truely do deserve. Mein Kampf, or My Struggle is a book by Adolf Hitler. It’s part autobiography, part exposition about Hitler’s National Socialist political ideology. Hitler uses the thesis of ‘The Jewish Peril’, which, when translated into plain English, is his theory that the Jews wanted to rule the world. Mein Kampf Concentration camps became home to thousands of Jews throughout the WW2 era.

People at these camps were treated horribly, and were often used for forced labour, until they had reached their limit, and they would then be exterminated. Concentration Camps There were more than 700,000 prisoners in concentration camps in January 1945.

A large number of these prisoners were killed in evacuation marches and death marches.

The Germans also killed the Jews by sending them to the showers, which acted as gas chambers, where they would perform mass executions. ‘…perhaps the death camps were kept secret, but at times, people were shown the glory of a labour camp like Dachau…’

‘…the suffering faces of depleted men and women reached across to them, pleading not so much for help…but for an explanation…’


In these lines from the novel, we see the ill treatment and humiliation thrust upon the Jews, who saw no cause for the cruelty, and were anguished about becoming Hitler's scapegoat. Aryan Race Anti-Semitism Vandalism "All the human culture, all the results of art, science, and technology that we see before us today, are almost exclusively the creative product of the Aryan..."

"Hence it is no accident that the first cultures arose in places where the Aryan, in his encounters with lower peoples, subjugated them and bent them to his will. They then became the first technical instrument in the service of a developing culture." "The mightiest counterpart to the Aryan is represented by the Jew." http://blog.prezi.com/2011/05/11/facebooks-new-campus-is-presented-in-prezi/ http://prezi.com/nhoodyqau2ay/e-reputation-brand-management/ In the novel, Hans Hubermann paints over the crude words written over Kleinman’s storefront.

In his doing this, we can see that he didn’t believe what the Nazi’s and Hitler were doing was right, and that he believed that the Jews had done nothing wrong.

This pays homage to what Zusak is saying in the whole novel; that not all Germans were swallowing the Nazi Ideology, personified into Hans. ‘…A star the colour of mustard was smeared to the door. In sloppy lettering, the words JEWISH FILTH were spilling over at their edges…’ Nazis vandalised Jewish homes and storefronts to show their hatred and the unaccepting nature of the time. It aimed to humiliate and degrade the Jews Mein Kampf described all the ways the Jews were inferior, and why they were to be hated. It set the foundations for the prejudice against the Jews.

In the book, Hitler talked in length about Hitler’s youth, prejudices, political beliefs and endeavours and his belief in the superior Aryan race. Book Burnings "The Book Thief" is located in Munich Germany based upon two main factors:
1. This was where his parents grew up, so the stories he was told had relevance to the location

2. Munich was a major city that was bombed by the end of the war, making it a very historical and well known site. Zusak even travelled to Munich to assure the facts and information he used, were correct - Age 37, (June 23, 1975)
- From Sydney, Australia
- Renowned for internationally best selling novels ,
'The Book Thief' and 'The Messenger'
- Zusak comes from a Germanic background, his parents having grown up in Nazi Germany, greatly inspired 'The Book Thief' By basing the story in the WW2 era, it is able to convey how a third party (in this case, Death), saw the petty battles for power and how they helped shape humanity into something less than it used to be. In the novel, Zusak created the narrator as Death. He does not take a side in the Nazi vs. Jew fued. This portrayal of a vunerable death, is a new, neutral perspective as he tries to find beautiful moments in an ugly time. War and death are commonly referred to as 'best friends'. By choosing death as the narrator, the whole perspective is changed. Zusak chose an innocent young girl, Liesel, as the main character. Her obsession with words though she could not read well, and the similarities and differences between her and the Fuhrer, created a lovable and inspiring character.

'Hitler was destroying people with words and Liesel was trying to steal them back'

Attributes from Zusak's life, like Hans Hubermann being a painter as well as his father, were appropriated into 'The Book Thief'. Stories his parents told him of the boy who fed the Jew were also used, creating his own personal touch to the novel Nazi ideology was largely based around the statement, that the Aryan Race were superior to any other.

The Aryan race were fair skinned, blonde haired, blue eyed people, whom Hitler believed were superior to every other race.

In Hitler’s opinion, the Jews were the Aryan’s polar opposite. The character Rudy prominetley displays the want of leading an Aryan Race. Though treated poorly at Hitler Youth, his appearance attracted the attention of Nazi agents who wanted to induct him in a special military school
–’…gangly blue eyes and hair the colour of a lemon…’.

‘…think of the oppurtunities your son can have. This is really a privilege…’

‘…Rudy did not feel like he was part of a master race…’ Anti-semitism
-noun
discrimination against or prejudice or hostility toward Jews. History’s most extreme form of anti-semitism was World War 2, between 1933-1945 in Germany, during Hitler's overthrow. Hitler's ability to persue the nation into following his beliefs that the Jews were to be hated, led to the mistreatment of Jewish people. This time period was known as the Holocaust. Ultimatley, book burnings were a campaign to rid all writings that undermined Hitler’s reign.

'The Book Thief'establishes that the book burnings were not exclusively for books. Art, pamphlets and anything written by a Jew or speaks favourably about a Jew, were also burned. ‘…”And now, we say goodbye to this rubbish, this poison.” … The orange flames waved at the crowd as paper and print dissolved inside them. Burning words were torn from their sentences…’

By destroying these books, we see how the Nazi party symbolised their aim in eradication Jewish people.

This also reminds us that the Nazi propaganda also meant destroying information, not only spreading it. ‘…in front of him he read the copy of Mein Kampf. His saviour. Sweat was swimming out of his hands. Fingermarks clutched the book…’ Max knows that if he can “pass” as a non Jew long enough, he can get to Himmel Street, his best chance for survival. The very best way to establish this identity is to carry a copy of Hitler’s book. Hypocrytical as he was against everything Mein Kampf preached, but yet it kept him alive. ‘Elegant, philosophical and moving. A work to read slowly and savour. Beautiful and important.’-Kirkus Reviews
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