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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.”
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.”
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
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
“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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- Winter '13