The Book Thief: the Life of Hans

Topics: The Book Thief, Nazi Germany, Nazism Pages: 2 (569 words) Published: January 24, 2009
Markus Zusak writes the exciting account of The Book Thief; the book is placed in Nazi Germany. Hans’ ability to avoid death has often left Hans’ depressed or feeling like “It should have been me” (Zusak 477). This state of mind leads him to make the decision to Shelter Max, who is the son of his Jewish friend, Erik, who saved his life during the war. Hans Hubermann is an uncommon person, one who will accept death, although he has miraculously avoided death three times in the book. Hans’ ability to survive and his particular readiness for death have been noticed by many of the characters. Preceding the bombing of Himmel Street, “[Death] never came close to touching Hans Hubermann. He was either too lucky, or he deserved to live, or there was a good reason for him to live.” (Zusak 174). Hans was peacefully asleep on Himmel Street while allied bombs were mistakenly dropped. “[Han’s] soul sat up. It met [Death]. Those kinds of souls always […] rise up and say, ‘I know who you are and I am ready” (Zusak 531). Hans’ Relaxed, laid back personality has saved him on many occasions. Hans’ sergeant Boris Schipper boasted, “You’re lucky I like you, Hubermann, You’re lucky you’re a good man, and generous with the cigarettes.” (Zusak 478). Death has always followed Hans closely, because of his work in the military. Still, Hans has been able to unknowingly evade Death. The first time Hans avoided death was when his closest friend and fellow accordion player Erik, nominated him for letter writing. “[Hans] wrote letters as best he could while the rest of the men went into battle. None of them came back. That was the first time Hans Hubermann escaped Death.”(Zusak 178). After the battle of Stuttgart, Hans was relieved from duty. Years later, Hans is drafted back into the army by the NAZI party; “Hans was sent first quite ironically to Stuttgart, and later to Essen, and he was given one of the most undesirable positions on the home front.”(Zusak 431). Hans is assigned to the...

Cited: Zusak, Markus. The Book Thief. Sydney: Picador, 1945.
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