After the war, after Death has come for Hitler, Alex Steiner reopens his shop and Liesel starts to spend a lot of time with him and to work with him there. The two of them go to the Dachau concentration camp to look for Max, but the Americans now holding the camp won't let them in. Yet one day in October, 1945, Max comes to the shop and asks for Liesel. They embrace and fall weeping to the ground.
More irony: Max survives – when Hans thought he had condemned him by sending him away – while Hans himself dies. This is a reversal of the situation with Hans and Erik Vandenburg in World War I. The lesson seems to be that people can never know the consequences of even their smallest actions, so it is best to act out of kindness.