Character List and Analysis
Max Vandenburg is the Jewish man who hides in the Hubermanns' basement. His father saved Hans's life during World War I, and later Hans tries to save Max's life, which puts the Hubermanns' lives in great jeopardy. In many ways, Max and Liesel are similar. They both have nightmares about their pasts, and they both see Hans Hubermann and his accordion as a source of safety. They also share a history of fist-fighting and a respect for words. Max writes books for Liesel about all that she has done for him and about how her words and her tears are able to save him and give him strength. Max's book, The Word Shaker, describes how Liesel's words give him strength and have the ability to cut down forests of hate. He boxes the Führer in the basement and is constantly aware of how the Führer manipulates the crowd with his words, turning the entire audience on Max in his daydreams as well as in reality. He and Liesel become great friends during their time together.