Death explains that this will be the story of the book thief's second crime, more than a year after she took The Grave Digger's Handbook. Death declares that Nazi Germany was built on the German love of burning things, and the many book burnings offered a perfect opportunity for someone predisposed to thievery. Looking back on it, Liesel will feel proud to have saved The Shoulder Shrug from the flames. But first Death has to tell the story of what led to the book burning.
Death again outlines what is to come before he begins to narrate it. It is clear that political forces will take more prominence in this section, as a Nazi book-burning will be the setting for Liesel's second crime. Death offers a political commentary but again shows his distance from humanity – trying to understand human complexities by simplifying war to a love of burning.