In,The Book Thief,we learn about the different types of human nature, from the kindness to the cruelty. Death is the narrator and struggles to come to terms with the difference between the evil plans of the Nazi government and the goodwill and courage of a few German people. His curiosity leads him to uncovering Liesel’s story and he becomes attached to certain features for characters such as; Liesel, Rudy, Hans Hubermann and Rosa Hubermann.
The Book Thief goes through some of the most evil things in history and it takes us through these various times. We witness the torture of the Jews in the book, from when Liesel and Rudy witness the streets with the destroyed houses and shops. The Nazi’s classify them as subhumans and make them march through Molching, while they are being tortured by the Nazi soldiers which is totally wrong.
Hans Hubermann showed great compassion and pity even though there would be consequences, as he rushes to a crowd of Jews and gives and old man a piece of bread. “The Jew stood before him, expecting another handful of derision, but he watched with everyone else as Hans Hubermann held his hand out and presented a piece of bread, like magic”. This quote says, that even though his punishment is being sent to the war, it is connected to his act of kindness and he provides a much needed role model for both Liesel and Rudy.
Ilsa Hermann displays a great amount of warmth and goodwill by inviting Liesel into her library. Although this character may look lonely over the loss of her son, she manages to teach Liesel into her love of literature. She does not react angrily to the fact that Liesel had stolen books from her library, this in turns show compassion in human nature. Even though Liesel and Rudy stole books, death shows this as acts of courage, rather than a criminal offence.
The Hubermann’s ( Rosa and Hans) consent to take care of Liesel as a foster child is wonderful and this is also further more explained as they promised to Max’s family, even though knowing being caught hiding a Jew leass to death. The Hubermann family don’t just take in Max, but they also make him feel loved and part of the family.
Liesel defies Nazi rules and regulations, by taking education into her own hands, as Rudy puts it after their fathers were sent to war, “It feels good doesn’t it? To steal something back.” Liesel further more defies the Nazi model of hate of Jews as she grows closer to Max and help each other develop as individuals and also show a lot of affection towards one another.
Rudy is a very loveable character and in the start, goes from stealing bread, to giving it to the marching Jews. This act is selfless because at the time he and his family were starving “Proof again of the contradictory nature of human beings” – Death. Furthermore, “From the toolbox the boy took out, of all things, a teddy bear. He reached in through the torn windshield and placed it on the pilot’s chest”. This shows a compassionate act of human nature even though the pilot was from an opposite side of the war.
Even though, harsh punishments were experienced during the time of Nazi Germany, many examples of human spirit were exposed to overpower the evil and shows that we can have some sort of integrity to face evil times.