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Unformatted text preview: him, until everyone else on the team begged him to go back in.
“Get back in there!” a boy named Harald Mollenhauer finally ordered him. “You’re useless.” This was after
Tommy tripped him up as he was about to score. He would have awarded himself a penalty but for the fact that
they were on the same side.
Liesel came back out and would somehow always end up opposing Rudy. They would tackle and trip each
other, call each other names. Rudy would commentate: “She can’t get around him this time, the stupid
Saumensch Arschgrobbler. She hasn’t got a hope.” He seemed to enjoy calling Liesel an ass scratcher. It was
one of the joys of childhood.
Another of the joys, of course, was stealing. Part four, summer 1940. In fairness, there were many things that brought Rudy and Liesel together, but it was the stealing that cemented
their friendship completely. It was brought about by one opportunity, and it was driven by one inescapable force
—Rudy’s hunger. The boy was permanently dying for something to eat.
On top of the rationing situation, his father’s business wasn’t doing so well of late (the threat of Jewish
competition was taken away, but so were the Jewish customers). The Steiners were scratching things together to
get by. Like many other people on the Himmel Street side of town, they needed to trade. Liesel would have
given him some food from her place, but there wasn’t an abundance of it there, either. Mama usually made pea
soup. On Sunday nights she cooked it—and not just enough for one or two repeat performances. She made
enough pea soup to last until the following Saturday. Then on Sunday, she’d cook another one. Pea soup, bread,
sometimes a small portion of potatoes or meat. You ate it up and you didn’t ask for more, and you didn’t
At first, they did things to try to forget about it.
Rudy wouldn’t be hungry if they played soccer on the street. Or if they took bikes from his brother and sister
and rode to Alex Steiner’s shop or visited...
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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