The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

He was given one of the most undesirable positions on

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Unformatted text preview: m at the bridge over the Amper. He no longer played the accordion. His silver-eyed optimism was wounded and motionless. That was bad enough, but it was only the beginning. One Wednesday in early November, his true punishment arrived in the mailbox. On the surface, it appeared to be good news. PAPER IN THE KITCHEN We are delighted to inform you that your application to join the NSDAP has been approved. . . . “The Nazi Party?” Rosa asked. “I thought they didn’t want you.” “They didn’t.” Papa sat down and read the letter again. He was not being put on trial for treason or for helping Jews or anything of the sort. Hans Hubermann was being rewarded, at least as far as some people were concerned. How could this be possible? “There has to be more.” There was. On Friday, a statement arrived to say that Hans Hubermann was to be drafted into the German army. A member of the party would be happy to play a role in the war effort, it concluded. If he wasn’t, there would certainly be consequences. Liesel had just returned from reading with Frau Holtzapfel. The kitchen was heavy with soup steam and the vacant faces of Hans and Rosa Hubermann. Papa was seated. Mama stood above him as the soup started to burn. “God, please don’t send me to Russia,” Papa said. “Mama, the soup’s burning.” “What?” Liesel hurried across and took it from the stove. “The soup.” When she’d successfully rescued it, she turned and viewed her foster parents. Faces like ghost towns. “Papa, what’s wrong?” He handed her the letter and her hands began to shake as she made her way through it. The words had been punched forcefully into the paper. THE CONTENTS OF LIESEL MEMINGER’S IMAGINATION In the shell-shocked kitchen, somewhere near the stove, there’s an image of a lonely, overworked typewriter. It sits in a distant, near-empty room. Its keys are faded and a blank sheet waits patiently upright in the assumed position. It wavers slightly in the breeze from the window. Coffee break is...
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