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Unformatted text preview: rom Hans Hubermann:
The fun begins.
The day of the announcement, Papa was lucky enough to have some work. On his way home, he picked up a
discarded newspaper, and rather than stopping to shove it between paint cans in his cart, he folded it up and
slipped it beneath his shirt. By the time he made it home and removed it, his sweat had drawn the ink onto his
skin. The paper landed on the table, but the news was stapled to his chest. A tattoo. Holding the shirt open, he
looked down in the unsure kitchen light.
“What does it say?” Liesel asked him. She was looking back and forth, from the black outlines on his skin to the
“ ‘Hitler takes Poland,’ ” he answered, and Hans Hubermann slumped into a chair. “Deutschland über Alles,”
he whispered, and his voice was not remotely patriotic.
The face was there again—his accordion face.
That was one war started.
Liesel would soon be in another. Nearly a month after school resumed, she was moved up to her rightful year level. You might think this was due
to her improved reading, but it wasn’t. Despite the advancement, she still read with great difficulty. Sentences
were strewn everywhere. Words fooled her. The reason she was elevated had more to do with the fact that she
became disruptive in the younger class. She answered questions directed to other children and called out. A few
times, she was given what was known as a Watschen (pronounced “varchen”) in the corridor.
Watschen = a good hiding
She was taken up, put in a chair at the side, and told to keep her mouth shut by the teacher, who also happened
to be a nun. At the other end of the classroom, Rudy looked across and waved. Liesel waved back and tried not
At home, she was well into reading The Grave Digger’s Handbook with Papa. They would circle the words she
couldn’t understand and take them down to the basement the next day. She thought it was enough. It was not
Somewhere at the start of November, there were som...
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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