Unformatted text preview: d with everyone else as Hans
Hubermann held his hand out and presented a piece of bread, like magic.
When it changed hands, the Jew slid down. He fell to his knees and held Papa’s shins. He buried his face
between them and thanked him.
With tears in her eyes, she saw the man slide farther forward, pushing Papa back to cry into his ankles.
Other Jews walked past, all of them watching this small, futile miracle. They streamed by, like human water.
That day, a few would reach the ocean. They would be handed a white cap.
Wading through, a soldier was soon at the scene of the crime. He studied the kneeling man and Papa, and he
looked at the crowd. After another moment’s thought, he took the whip from his belt and began.
The Jew was whipped six times. On his back, his head, and his legs. “You filth! You swine!” Blood dripped
now from his ear.
Then it was Papa’s turn.
A new hand held Liesel’s now, and when she looked in horror next to her, Rudy Steiner swallowed as Hans
Hubermann was whipped on the street. The sound sickened her and she expected cracks to appear on her papa’s
body. He was struck four times before he, too, hit the ground.
When the elderly Jew climbed to his feet for the last time and continued on, he looked briefly back. He took a
last sad glance at the man who was kneeling now himself, whose back was burning with four lines of fire,
whose knees were aching on the road. If nothing else, the old man would die like a human. Or at least with the
thought that he was a human. Me?
I’m not so sure if that’s such a good thing.
When Liesel and Rudy made it through and helped Hans to his feet, there were so many voices. Words and
sunlight. That’s how she remembered it. The light sparkling on the road and the words like waves, breaking on
her back. Only as they walked away did they notice the bread sitting rejected on the street.
As Rudy attempted to pick it up, a passing Jew snatched it from his hand and another two fought him for it as
they continued on thei...
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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