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Unformatted text preview: s were flat and calm, slightly warm, as they always were when it came to Liesel.
When the reading petered out, Papa fell asleep. It was then that Liesel spoke what she’d wanted to say all along.
“Papa,” she whispered, “I think I’m going to hell.”
Her legs were warm. Her knees were cold.
She remembered the nights when she’d wet the bed and Papa had washed the sheets and taught her the letters of
the alphabet. Now his breathing blew across the blanket and she kissed his scratchy cheek.
“You need a shave,” she said.
“You’re not going to hell,” Papa replied.
For a few moments, she watched his face. Then she lay back down, leaned on him, and together, they slept, very
much in Munich, but somewhere on the seventh side of Germany’s die. RUDY’S YOUTH
In the end, she had to give it to him.
He knew how to perform.
A PORTRAIT OF RUDY STEINER:
Strings of mud clench his face. His tie
is a pendulum, long dead in its clock.
His lemon, lamp-lit hair is disheveled
and he wears a sad, absurd smile.
He stood a few meters from the step and spoke with great conviction, great joy.
“Alles ist Scheisse,” he announced.
All is shit.
In the first half of 1941, while Liesel went about the business of concealing Max Vandenburg, stealing
newspapers, and telling off mayors’ wives, Rudy was enduring a new life of his own, at the Hitler Youth. Since
early February, he’d been returning from the meetings in a considerably worse state than he’d left in. On many
of those return trips, Tommy Müller was by his side, in the same condition. The trouble had three elements to it.
A TRIPLE-TIERED PROBLEM
1. Tommy Müller’s ears.
2. Franz Deutscher—the irate Hitler Youth leader.
3. Rudy’s inability to stay out of things.
If only Tommy Müller hadn’t disappeared for seven hours on one of the coldest days in Munich’s history, six
years earlier. His ear infections and nerve damage were still contorting the marching pattern at the Hitler Youth,
which, I can assure you, was not a positive thing.
To begin with, the dow...
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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