Summary and Analysis
Part 7: The Complete Duden Dictionary and Thesaurus: The Long Walk to Dachau
A parade of Jews marches through Molching on its way to Dachau, a Nazi concentration camp. Liesel stands with Rudy and her Papa while they watch the emaciated, sickly Jews walk down the street. Liesel wants to tell them that she's helping one of them, that he lives in her basement, but she doesn't. Instead, she tries to let them see how sorrowful she is. Hans goes to one of the Jews who has fallen and gives the old man some bread. A Nazi soldier whips the Jew and Hans. The Jew moves on, leaving the bread behind. Hans lies on the ground, and Rudy and Liesel help him up. Others help him to safety while some call him a Jew lover and overturn his paint cart. Hans thinks about Max in the basement and knows the Gestapo will now come to his door. He cannot believe what he's done.
Death highlights the darkness of humanity in this chapter, describing the misery of the Jews as they marched. By contrast, Hans acts out of goodness and kindness. Again, there exists this blurring of lightness and darkness in the human stories that Death has witnessed. This chapter also increases the tension in the book, bringing even greater worry upon Hans and his family for the suspicion he's now brought upon him. This moment recalls the bonfire on Hitler's birthday when Liesel says that she hates Hitler. On that day, Hans told her that, outside of the house, she had to be careful about what she said and how she acted. In this moment, Hans forgets this. He is too good of a person to ignore the man on the ground.