The Book Thief

The Book Thief

Adolf Hitler Character Analysis

The Führer (leader) of Nazi Germany and antagonist of the novel. Hitler never physically appears in the story, but he stands as a symbol for all the evil caused by the Nazis and the War. Hitler's use of language and propaganda to cause suffering shows an abuse of the power of words, and his book Mein Kampf plays a major role in the plot.
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Adolf Hitler Character Timeline in The Book Thief

The timeline below shows where the character Adolf Hitler appears in The Book Thief. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: Arrival on Himmel Street
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Liesel had been asleep and dreaming about the Führer, Adolf Hitler, giving a speech with words that "glowed in the light." Liesel greets him like a... (full context)
Part 1: The Woman with the Iron Fist
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...and the Hubermanns give her a secondhand doll. She also has to enroll in the Hitler Youth (Band of German Girls), where they are taught to march and "heil Hitler" (salute... (full context)
Part 1: The Kiss (A Childhood Decision Maker)
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...of Himmel Street, especially Frau Diller, who owns a shop where if you don't "heil Hitler" when you enter, she won't serve you. Rudy and Liesel walk past Rudy's father's shop... (full context)
Part 1: The Jesse Owens Incident
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...before Liesel's arrival on Himmel Street, in 1936, during the Olympics that took place in Hitler's Germany. Everyone in Germany was amazed at the great African-American athlete Jesse Owens, but Rudy... (full context)
Part 2: Hitler's Birthday, 1940
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Everyone in Molching is preparing to celebrate Hitler's birthday, where there will be parades and a book burning. Nazi Party members come by... (full context)
Part 2: 100 Percent Pure German Sweat
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A man on a podium salutes Hitler and then gives a speech about the evils of Communists and Jews. When Liesel hears... (full context)
Part 2: The Gates of Thievery
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...all her problems. She asks Hans plainly if her mother was a Communist, and if Hitler took her away. Hans cannot deny it, and then Liesel states that she hates Hitler. (full context)
Part 3: The Way Home
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...later Hans trades some cigarettes for a copy of Mein Kampf, the book written by Hitler. He overhears the party members discussing him, and how he will never be allowed to... (full context)
Part 3: The Aryan Shopkeeper
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...on the ground, and they take it to Frau Diller's shop. She makes them heil Hitler, and then mockingly gives them one piece of candy. At first they are disappointed, but... (full context)
Part 3: The Struggler, Continued
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...the whole time, and he reads Mein Kampf to avoid suspicion, recognizing the irony that Hitler's book should be the book to save him. (full context)
Part 4: The Sleeper
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...him. Sometimes in his sleep he says the names of his family members, Walter, and Hitler. Liesel is standing over him when Max finally wakes up, and he takes her arm,... (full context)
Part 5: The Gambler (A Seven-Sided Die)
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...alive. He starts exercising again, and then begins fantasizing about having a boxing match with Hitler. The crowd all supports the Führer, and they mock Max for being Jewish. The two... (full context)
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...push-ups. He tells her about his new daydream, and say he is training to fight Hitler. Liesel asks who wins the fight in Max's dream, and Max says that he does.... (full context)
Part 5: Sketches
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...asleep, and she looks at two pages of his book. Death recreates a picture of Hitler "conducting" a crowd in song with the heil salute, and a picture of a swastika... (full context)
Part 5: Three Acts of Stupidity by Rudy Steiner
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Rudy's second mistake begins with him taunting Franz Deutscher at a Hitler Youth meeting, as Rudy pretends to not know Hitler's birthday. A few days later Rudy... (full context)
Part 7: Frau Holtzapfel's Offer
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...door. Frau Holtzapfel is rude and doesn't want any small talk, just reading. Liesel salutes Hitler as she leaves, knowing Frau Holtzapfel's two sons are fighting in Russia. (full context)
Part 8: The Promise Keeper's Wife
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...thinks they are going to steal something, but Rudy says he is going to find Hitler and kill him. Liesel wants to go home, and they argue but finally end up... (full context)
Part 8: The Hidden Sketchbook
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...illustrated fable called The Word Shaker, and Death recreates the pages. The story begins with Hitler discovering the power of words, and then deciding to use words to rule the world.... (full context)
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One day Hitler arrives and demands that the tree be cut down. The word shaker climbs up the... (full context)
Part 10: The War Maker
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...Holtzapfel as usual. Death describes how busy he is with the Allies' bombing of Hamburg. Hitler is starting to lose the war, but he doesn't scale back the fighting or the... (full context)
Part 10: Ilsa Hermann's Little Black Book
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...sits on the floor. She thinks about all the horrors she has seen, and about Hitler, and she looks around at the beautiful books and hates them for making her happy.... (full context)
Epilogue: Max
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After the war, after Death has come for Hitler, Alex Steiner reopens his shop and Liesel starts to spend a lot of time with... (full context)