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Unformatted text preview: e Jew, the nasty Jew, helped her up. It took all of his strength.
“I’m here, Max,” she said again. “I’m here.”
“I can’t believe . . .” The words dripped from Max Vandenburg’s mouth. “Look how much you’ve grown.”
There was an intense sadness in his eyes. They swelled. “Liesel . . . they got me a few months ago.” The voice
was crippled but it dragged itself toward her. “Halfway to Stuttgart.”
From the inside, the stream of Jews was a murky disaster of arms and legs. Ragged uniforms. No soldier had
seen her yet, and Max gave her a warning. “You have to let go of me, Liesel.” He even tried to push her away,
but the girl was too strong. Max’s starving arms could not sway her, and she walked on, between the filth, the
hunger and confusion.
After a long line of steps, the first soldier noticed.
“Hey!” he called in. He pointed with his whip. “Hey, girl, what are you doing? Get out of there.” When she ignored him completely, the soldier used his arm to separate the stickiness of people. He shoved them
aside and made his way through. He loomed above her as Liesel struggled on and noticed the strangled
expression on Max Vandenburg’s face. She had seen him afraid, but never like this.
The soldier took her.
His hands manhandled her clothes.
She could feel the bones in his fingers and the ball of each knuckle. They tore at her skin. “I said get out!” he
ordered her, and now he dragged the girl to the side and flung her into the wall of onlooking Germans. It was
getting warmer. The sun burned her face. The girl had landed sprawling with pain, but now she stood again. She
recovered and waited. She reentered.
This time, Liesel made her way through from the back.
Ahead, she could just see the distinct twigs of hair and walked again toward them.
This time, she did not reach out—she stopped. Somewhere inside her were the souls of words. They climbed
out and stood beside her.
“Max,” she said. He turned and briefly closed his eyes as the girl continued. “ ‘There was once a strang...
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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