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Unformatted text preview: st the bobbing head of a soldier and the gun poking at the air above him. Then the ragged chain of clinking
The only difference this time was that they were brought from the opposite direction. They were taken through
to the neighboring town of Nebling to scrub the streets and do the cleanup work that the army refused to do.
Late in the day, they were marched back to camp, slow and tired, defeated.
Again, Liesel searched for Max Vandenburg, thinking that he could easily have ended up in Dachau without
being marched through Molching. He was not there. Not on this occasion.
Just give it time, though, for on a warm afternoon in August, Max would most certainly be marched through
town with the rest of them. Unlike the others, however, he would not watch the road. He would not look
randomly into the Führer’s German grand-stand.
A FACT REGARDING
MAX VANDENBURG He would search the faces on Munich
Street for a book-thieving girl.
On this occasion, in July, on what Liesel later calculated as the ninety-eighth day of her papa’s return, she stood
and studied the moving pile of mournful Jews—looking for Max. If nothing else, it alleviated the pain of simply
That’s a horrible thought, she would write in her Himmel Street basement, but she knew it to be true. The pain
of watching them. What about their pain? The pain of stumbling shoes and torment and the closing gates of the
They came through twice in ten days, and soon after, the anonymous, prune-faced woman on Munich Street was
proven absolutely correct. Suffering had most definitely come, and if they could blame the Jews as a warning or
prologue, they should have blamed the Führer and his quest for Russia as the actual cause—for when Himmel
Street woke later in July, a returned soldier was discovered to be dead. He was hanging from one of the rafters
in a laundry up near Frau Diller’s. Another human pendulum. Another clock, stopped.
The careless owner had left the door open.
JULY 24, 6:03 A.M. The laundry was war...
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- Winter '13