Summary and Analysis Part 3: Mein Kampf: The Struggler, Continued



Death returns briefly to the struggle of Max Vandenburg, who rides on a train. After spending weeks more in the storage closet, Max's friend Walter Kugler makes his last delivery to Max, which includes food, a razor, and a train ticket from Stuttgart to Munich to Pasing. On the train, Max reads the book that he received earlier: Mein Kampf, or My Struggle, Hitler's book. Taped to the inside cover is a key.


In this chapter, Death reveals how Hans put his copy of Mein Kampf to work for good. The book has now helped two people who are against Hitler; it helped Hans by making him appear to be a Hitler supporter, a role he has to play in order to keep himself and his family safe, and it is now helping Max by carrying both a literal and metaphorical key to his new life on Himmel Street. While Mein Kampf represents just how powerful words can be, how its text has been able to attract supporters for Hitler, it also brings a moment of irony to Max's story — how the very words of the man who has made him go into hiding is also helping to fuel his escape, how Hitler's depiction of his own struggle is indeed helping Max in his own struggle.