The Book Thief – Part Ten – Way of the Words and Confessions

Way of the Words

This should be interesting!

Another parade of Jews made their way through Molching, and Liesel joined the crowd of onlookers. She searched the parade for Max’s face, looking for his ‘hair like twigs, swampy eyes and a kindling beard.’ This time, she found him. It was because he was searching the crowd also, that she saw him. Others in the crowd even noticed Max’s unusual behaviour. Liesel! What are you doing? You don’t call out to a Jew! Do you want to get yourself killed?

Max Vandenburg, August 1943

There were twigs of hair, just like Liesel thought, and the swampy eyes stepped across, shoulder to shoulder over the other Jews. When they reached her, they pleaded. His beard stroked down his face and his mouth shivered as he said the word, the name, the girl. Liesel.

I think Max realises the danger that Liesel is putting herself through. But Liesel, actually goes into the parade of Jews to get to Max, and hold his hand. Sure I like the fact that Max has returned, and he and Liesel are reunited. But firstly, Max is captured! Secondly, you are in public, so how can you justify knowing and acknowledging a Jew? And lastly, what will this achieve?

Liesel you need to leave now, and make up some excuse otherwise you and Max will be in-trouble, it isn’t worth it! Liesel, are you crazy? You have been pulled out of the parade, fell over, got back up, and now you want to go back into the parade? You need to stop, and think about what you are doing?

I am so conflicted! Liesel is doing a stupid thing, but it is so nice and emotional what she is doing. She is quoting The Word Shakerto Max! But of course the soldiers intervene, and whip Max. Not only did Max get whipped, Liesel did too. It just proves that the Nazis were not afraid to hurt children, if they got in the way. Sure corporal punishment was popular around that time, all around the world, but using a whip? That’s a light-year too far!

Liesel I know what you wanted to do, but was it worth it? I hope it was. I wonder if this is the last of Max Vandenburg that we will see. Luckily for Liesel, Rudy steps in and helps her off the road. The whole town, I guess, is shocked by Liesel’s actions. I wonder what they think is going on? I wonder if this changes their opinion on the war? Do they like seeing their own blood getting whipped by their soldiers, a child getting whipped? Or do they all believe that she got what she deserved, and that she was a ‘Jew-lover’ like her father?

I have to give it to Liesel, she won’t give up, she still tries to walk to Max, and cries out to him again. Rudy tackles her down, and restrains her, once again proving how amazing he is, and further reminding us that his future death, is not going to be a happy moment.


After the events above, Liesel went to the train station to wait for Hans. It was a good few hours until he was due home, but she waited. Rudy however, fetched Rosa, and explained what happened. Rosa waited with Liesel, and said nothing, obviously understanding what happened. I wonder what Rudy thought Liesel was doing? Did he think she was mad? When Hans arrived, he was annoyed. That night, was one of sadness, and pain.

Liesel remained in bed for three days. On the fourth day, she took Rudy out, and explained. She explained everything, something she should have done earlier. But couldn’t, for fear that Rudy would tell someone, and they would all be punished. Now there is no chance that Rudy would tell anyone. She even shared The Word Shaker and the pages where Rudy himself, was involved. She was so close to kissing him, she loved him. But once again, nothing happened.


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