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Unformatted text preview: gut, Saumensch? The injury, I mean.”
It was June. It was Germany.
Things were on the verge of decay.
Liesel was unaware of this. For her, the Jew in her basement had not been revealed. Her foster parents were not
taken away, and she herself had contributed greatly to both of these accomplishments.
“Everything’s good,” she said, and she was not talking about a soccer injury of any description.
She was fine. DEATH’S DIARY: THE PARISIANS
For the book thief, everything was going nicely.
For me, the sky was the color of Jews.
When their bodies had finished scouring for gaps in the door, their souls rose up. When their fingernails had
scratched at the wood and in some cases were nailed into it by the sheer force of desperation, their spirits came
toward me, into my arms, and we climbed out of those shower facilities, onto the roof and up, into eternity’s
certain breadth. They just kept feeding me. Minute after minute. Shower after shower.
I’ll never forget the first day in Auschwitz, the first time in Mauthausen. At that second place, as time wore on,
I also picked them up from the bottom of the great cliff, when their escapes fell awfully awry. There were
broken bodies and dead, sweet hearts. Still, it was better than the gas. Some of them I caught when they were
only halfway down. Saved you, I’d think, holding their souls in midair as the rest of their being—their physical
shells—plummeted to the earth. All of them were light, like the cases of empty walnuts. Smoky sky in those
places. The smell like a stove, but still so cold.
I shiver when I remember—as I try to de-realize it.
I blow warm air into my hands, to heat them up.
But it’s hard to keep them warm when the souls still shiver.
I always say that name when I think of it.
Twice, I speak it.
I say His name in a futile attempt to understand. “But it’s not your job to understand.” That’s me who answers.
God never says anything. You think you’re the only one he never answers? “Your job is to . . .” And I stop
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This note was uploaded on 01/17/2014 for the course ENG 99 taught by Professor Michal during the Winter '13 term at CSU Sacramento.
- Winter '13