Unformatted text preview: y both concentrated on breathing then, for there was nothing more to do or say. Their business had come to
The blood enlarged on Ludwig Schmeikl’s ankle.
A single word leaned against the girl.
To their left, flames and burning books were cheered like heroes. THE GATES OF THIEVERY
She remained on the steps, waiting for Papa, watching the stray ash and the corpse of collected books.
Everything was sad. Orange and red embers looked like rejected candy, and most of the crowd had vanished.
She’d seen Frau Diller leave (very satisfied) and Pfiffikus (white hair, a Nazi uniform, the same dilapidated
shoes, and a triumphant whistle). Now there was nothing but cleaning up, and soon, no one would even imagine
it had happened.
But you could smell it.
“What are you doing?”
Hans Hubermann arrived at the church steps.
“You were supposed to be in front of the town hall.”
He sat down next to her, halving his tallness on the concrete and taking a piece of Liesel’s hair. His fingers
adjusted it gently behind her ear. “Liesel, what’s wrong?”
For a while, she said nothing. She was making calculations, despite already knowing. An eleven-year-old girl is
many things, but she is not stupid.
A SMALL ADDITION
The word communist + a large bonfire + a collection of dead
letters + the suffering of her mother + the death of her
brother = the Führer
He was the they that Hans and Rosa Hubermann were talking about that evening when she first wrote to her
mother. She knew it, but she had to ask.
“Is my mother a communist?” Staring. Straight ahead. “They were always asking her things, before I came
Hans edged forward a little, forming the beginnings of a lie. “I have no idea—I never met her.”
“Did the Führer take her away?”
The question surprised them both, and it forced Papa to stand up. He looked at the brown-shirted men taking to
the pile of ash with shovels. He could hear them hacking into it. Another lie was growing in his...
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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