The Book Thief – Part Ten – The 98th Day and The War Maker

The 98th Day

For the first 97 days after Hans returned home, everything was fine. Hans returned to playing his accordion, and Liesel was laughing and I think was happy. Hans went to his desk job, and it appeared to have some extra food perks. But the 98th day, that was different.

A Small Statement by an Old Woman

On Munich Street, she said, ‘Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I wish they wouldn’t bring them through. These wretched Jews, they’re rotten luck. They’re a bad sign. Every time I see them I know we’ll be ruined.’

That old lady is most certainly right. The Jews now marched in the opposite direction, and went to clean up a neighbouring town, because the soldiers ‘didn’t want to.’ There probably aren’t enough of them to do such ‘trivial jobs’ anyway. It really sounded like Max wasn’t there, but this time, I don’t know if I’m just interpreting this too much, but it sounded like Max would appear at one time. Woops, yet again if I had read on, I would see that Death most certainly means that Max is coming soon. But he won’t he won’t be watching the ground, he’ll keep his head high.

A Fact Regarding Max Vandenburg

He would search the faces on Munich Street for a book-thieving girl.

Oh dear, a returned soldier killed himself. It is another horror of war. The fact that the men (and women) who go to war, don’t come the same. You have to feel for those that die in the war, but those that live and come home, suffer just as much. They will be forever haunted by the things they have seen, and the things that they have done. They will mourn the loss of their brothers in arm, and ask ‘why wasn’t it me’? They will relive those terrible days and nights over and over. Their dreams will be haunted. It is one aspect that has been shockingly dealt with in the past, and still is done poorly. The soldiers that protected their families deserve to be helped once they arrive home. They need to be able to talk to people that can deal with these things and that know solutions to their problems, it is important that they get some form of help. For them, the war doesn’t end when the get home.

July 24, 6:03 AM

The laundry was warm, the rafters were firm, and Michael Holtzapfel jumped from the chair as if it were a cliff.

Michael Holtzapfel, as in Frau Holtzapfel’s other son? She must be devastated! How can she handle the news that now both of her sons are dead? Apparently Michael’s reason, is that because he wanted to live, he didn’t deserve to. Because his brother died, and Michael still wanted to live, he should die. It is a sad, and depressing idea, that he felt responsible and guilty for his brother’s death, and that because he was alive, and his brother was not, he should not want to live. Death does funny things to people, so does war.

A human’s final words can sometimes be their best.

Michael Holtzapfel: The Last Goodbye

Dear Mama,

Can you ever forgive me? I just couldn’t stand it any longer. I’m meeting Robert. I don’t care what the damn Catholics say about it. There must be a place in Heaven for those who have been where I have been. You might think I don’t love you because of what I’ve done, but I do.

Your Michael.

I can’t even begin to imagine, what writing a letter like that would feel like. The emotions you would go through. Not only that, but actually going through with the suicide, would just be so difficult. The idea of dying, is a tough one, one that we don’t want to think about. But it is inevitable.

I don’t know how Frau Holtzapfel will be able to cope now, how can you live after losing both of your sons? The pain she must be going through, must be enormous.

The War Maker

‘Enormous suitcases under the eyes.’ That is the most interesting metaphor I have heard, it certainly is brilliant imagery!

July 27 1943

Michael Holtzapfel was buried and the book thief read to the bereaved. The Allies bombed Hamburg – and on that subject, it’s lucky I’m somewhat miraculous. No-one else could carry close to 45,000 people in such a short amount of time. Not in a million human years.

Germany is beginning to doubt the campaign, and the true costs are piling up fast. But they would never surrender, not until the end. And the Führer, he would never give up, not even in the end. I don’t even know what was going on in his head, and in the heads around him, before and during this war. I really can see no way that they can justify what they did or were doing, or were planning on doing. Did no one really think that this was a terrible idea, and should be stopped? Or were they all too afraid? I’m sure some tried to do things, but were punished, so all talk of revolt ended.This is why I’m interested in reading Hitler’s work, Mein Kampf it might be able to give an insight into his mind, and show how truly perverted he was.

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