The Holocaust In The Book Thief By Markus Zusak

1212 Words 5 Pages
The Holocaust

According to ushmm.org, the word “Holocaust is a Greek word that means “sacrifice by fire.” The Holocaust took place in Germany during World War II from January 30, 1933 to May 8, 1945, after the end of the war. (jewishvirtual.com) The Holocaust was made up of horrible events set out to murder Jews. These events were led and directed by Adolf Hitler. Hitler was part of the Nazi party, an organization that consisted of people with a strong hatred for the Jews. The events of the Holocaust not only affected the Jews, but also affected Catholics, gypsies, Slavs, political dissidents, physically disabled individuals, the mentally impaired, and those suspected of being homosexual. The Holocaust consisted of horrible, violent events
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An example is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. This novel is narrated by “death”. It tells the story of a young orphan girl, Liesel Meminger, and the struggles she faced during the Holocaust. It is set in Germany between 1939 and 1943. After her brother dies and her mother can no longer take care of her, Liesel goes to live with a German family, Hans and Rosa Hubermann. Liesel attaches to Hans and they grow very close. Liesel learns to adjust to her new environment and meets her best friend, Rudy Steiner. In school, she is taught to be anti- Semitism. One night, a man comes to their door; the Hubermanns pull him in quickly and hide him. Liesel becomes confused. The man is very ill. Hans talks to Liesel and explains to her that this man is a Jew, and she is not to tell a soul. Liesel learns that his name is Max. She grows very fond of him and tries to nurse him back to health. Max becomes well again and they continue to grow in their friendship. However, Max soon realizes the position he is putting Liesel and her family in. If they were caught taking care of a Jew, they would be murdered. He decides to leave and Liesel is heartbroken. Liesel began to see that anti- Semitism is a very cruel and needless thing. She becomes confused and no longer want to participate in Nazi rallies. Throughout the story, the Germans in the town have to go to bomb shelters because of nearby bombings. In the ending of the story, there is a bombing in the town where Liesel lives. Liesel’s foster parents and best friend, Rudy are killed. Liesel survives. It turns out that the bombing was a mistake. It was supposed to be on another town close by. The twist to the story is that “death” is the narrator and the narrator is sorry for what he has to do. (nytimes.com) The point is to show that “even death has a heart.” The author wrote this heartbreaking story to show how truly devastating the Holocaust was.

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