Character List and Analysis Minor Characters


Liesel's Mother

Liesel often thinks of her mother and how the Führer is responsible for taking her away.


Liesel's brother, who dies on the train when he's six. His ghost haunts her throughout the novel.

Frau Henrich

The woman from foster care who delivers Liesel to the Hubermanns' home.

Hans Junior

Hans and Rosa's son, who supports the Nazi Party. Hans Junior has a falling out with his father because he believes his father isn't trying hard enough to join the party.


Hans and Rosa's grown daughter, who is a housemaid and watches children.

Barbara Steiner

Rudy's mother. She is responsible for Rudy walking Liesel to school after she hears about his throwing a snowball at Liesel's face.

Alex Steiner

Rudy's father, who owns a tailor shop and later is sent to war for trying to protect Rudy.

Frau Holtzapfel

A neighbor who spits on the Hubermanns' door when she walks by because she's been in a decade-long argument with Rosa, though no one remembers the original argument. The argument softens a bit, though, after Liesel starts going over to Frau Holtzapfel's house to read to her in exchange for coffee.

Frau Diller

The cold and soldier-like corner shop owner who requires her customers to say "Heil Hitler!" upon entering. She is very loyal to the Nazi Party and has a framed photo of Hitler hanging behind her counter.


A white-haired, old man whose name really isn't Pfiffikus. The Molching children have given him that name because he likes to whistle. The children shout insults at him in order to rile him up, and he always delivers with a stream of shouted rage.

Tommy Müller

One of Liesel and Rudy's friends. He has chronic ear infections and hearing loss, and Rudy often has to stand up for him during Hitler Youth classes. Tommy is also the worst soccer player on Himmel Street.

Heinz Hermann

The mayor of Molching.

Johann Hermann

The mayor and Ilsa Hermann's son, who died in World War I. His death is responsible for Ilsa's depression.

Ludwig Schmeikl

The boy who taunts Liesel in the schoolyard and calls her stupid, so she beats him up. Her fight with Ludwig gives her the fist-fighting title. Later, though, during Hitler's birthday celebration, he hurts his ankle and Liesel helps him.

Arthur Berg

The friendly 15-year-old leader of the youth gang that steals food from farmers. Arthur moves away and is replaced by Viktor Chemmel as leader of the gang.

Erik Vandenburg

Max's father, who saves Hans's life in World War I and teaches Hans how to play the accordion. Hans makes a promise to Erik to help him someday. Because of their friendship and Hans's promise, Hans agrees to protect and hide Max.

Walter Kugler

Max's friend, who hides Max and then delivers Max to the Hubermanns before he leaves for war. When they were teenagers, Walter and Max would fist-fight one another. Walter finds Hans Hubermann and asks if Hans is willing to keep his promise to Walter's father.

Otto Sturm

The boy from whom Liesel and Rudy steal a basket of food as Otto is on his way to deliver it to the priests. Liesel and Rudy ice the road so that Otto falls off his bike.

Sergeant Stephan Schneider

Hans's sergeant in World War I who has the men perform odd duties, one of which saves Hans's life.

Viktor Chemmel

Arthur Berg's replacement as the youth gang leader. He steals because he enjoys it, not because he needs to. He runs a tight ship and abuses his power. He references Hitler as an example to follow.

Franz Deutscher

The leader of Rudy's Hitler Youth group. He torments Rudy and Tommy Müller.

The Fiedlers

A family of four on Himmel Street whose basement serves as the air raid shelter for Liesel and her family, the Steiners, and others.

Reinhold Zucker

A 24-year-old man who serves on the LSE squad with Hans. After he loses in a card game to Hans, he holds a grudge against him. This grudge causes Zucker to take Hans's seat in the LSE truck and, unwittingly, save Hans's life by giving up his own.

Michael Holtzapfel

Frau Holtzapfel's son, who returns home from Stalingrad with three missing fingers and hangs himself out of guilt for wanting to live.

Robert Holtzapfel

Frau Holtzapfel's son, who dies in Stalingrad.