The Book Thief Mini-Project.docx - Literal or Historical...

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Literal or Historical Level The story takes place in Molching, Germany during World War II. The war began in September 1939, when Germany invaded Poland. At this time Adolf Hitler was the chancellor of Germany. He is mentioned several times in the novel and is referred to as the Führer, meaning leader. His book Mein Kampf plays a major role in the story, and saves Max’s life by providing him with information about how to reach Hans’s home. In addition to this, books are very important and valuable to Liesel, soon leading to her receiving the title of “the book thief”. The book burning event, which was held on Hitler’s birthday, was an actual event that occured in Germany during World War II. The Nazis used this event as a way to express their power and hatred for Jewish values and to prevent people from gaining knowledge on subjects that they opposed. Another event shown in the novel was the Hitler Youth, which was a program created to implement Nazi values in the German youth. Both Liesel and Rudy attended this program, as all children from ages 10 to 18 were required to go. In the novel, the residents of Himmel Street went to the Fielders' basement during an air raid. Air raids were bombs dropped by both the Allies and Axis during World War II. Living conditions in Germany significantly deteriorated during World War II. Rationing was introduced before the war began, fixed amounts of food, clothing, shoes, and other necessities were provided. Rations were enough to live off, however they provided with only the bare minimum. Meat, fruits, desserts and other such foods were rarely eaten. In the novel, Rosa made one pot of pea soup per week, which they ate with bread and sometimes meat and potatoes if they could afford it. Because of this, Liesel and Rudy decided to join a fruit-stealing gang. Political Level Unlike much of Germany, Hans Hubermann does not support the Nazi Party. Some people in Himmel Street call Hans a “Jew lover” as an insult. This is because when Nazi soldiers decided to march Jewish prisoners to Himmel Street to take them to the concentration camp, Hans saw an elderly Jewish man struggling, and decided to give him a piece of bread. As well as this, Hans was also called “the Jew painter” because he painted over slurs written on Jewish shops. However when Liesel says that she hates Hitler for possibly causing her mother to disappear, though Hans did not want to, he slaps her.
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