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of another story, each step leading tragically to Russia.
SOME FACTS ABOUT STALINGRAD
1. In 1942 and early ’43, in that city, the sky was bleached bedsheet-white each morning.
2. All day long, as I carried the souls across it, that sheet was splashed with blood, until it was full and
bulging to the earth. 3. In the evening, it would be wrung out and bleached again, ready for the next dawn.
4. And that was when the fighting was only during the day.
With his son gone, Hans Hubermann stood for a few moments longer. The street looked so big.
When he reappeared inside, Mama fixed her gaze on him, but no words were exchanged. She didn’t admonish
him at all, which, as you know, was highly unusual. Perhaps she decided he was injured enough, having been
labeled a coward by his only son.
For a while, he remained silently at the table after the eating was finished. Was he really a coward, as his son
had so brutally pointed out? Certainly, in World War I, he considered himself one. He attributed his survival to
it. But then, is there cowardice in the acknowledgment of fear? Is there cowardice in being glad that you lived?
His thoughts crisscrossed the table as he stared into it.
“Papa?” Liesel asked, but he did not look at her. “What was he talking about? What did he mean when . . .”
“Nothing,” Papa answered. He spoke quiet and calm, to the table. “It’s nothing. Forget about him, Liesel.” It
took perhaps a minute for him to speak again. “Shouldn’t you be getting ready?” He looked at her this time.
“Don’t you have a bonfire to go to?”
The book thief went and changed into her Hitler Youth uniform, and half an hour later, they left, walking to the
BDM headquarters. From there, the children would be taken to the town square in their groups.
Speeches would be made.
A fire would be lit.
A book would be stolen. 100 PERCENT PURE GERMAN SWEAT
People lined the streets as the youth of Germany marched toward the town hall and the square. On quite a few
occasions Liesel forgot about her mother and any other problem of w...
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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