08 March 2011

Powerful Words, Voices and the Book Thief

There is no denying words are powerful and voices indeed mesmerizes thus we always remember the era of Hitler.
But if indeed such is the case, The Book Thief is truly an amazing book to read!

I first heard of this book thief whilst I was researching facts on another author and stumbled on an article about the writings of Markus Zusak complete with a photo of a very young author, one who certainly could not just "remember".
But I nearly forgot...To remember is also to witness and this was a story to be told!
You do not have to be somewhere physically to remember but it is however important that once you learn, you tell others about it.
Always forgive, never forget said my Grand Father.

Death toll for the Second World War I am told is over 60 million souls. To list a few, United Kingdom 450,700 , Belgium 86,100, Germany 6,777,000 to 8,863,000, Russia 23,954,000, United States 418,500, including 6 millions Jews, or roughly 78 % of all Europeans Jews.
Powerful words and mesmerizing voices are responsible for such a senseless destruction.

I was fourteen years old when I first read the Diary of Anne Frank and seventeen when I read The Hiding place by Corrie ten Boom.
I'll never forget The Boy who wore striped pajamas.
I remember snippets of conversation, numbers on a wrist, a language which sounded like music, missing people, crumbled walls and even bullet holes.
Yet I was born in the next generation.
Thus continues a legacy... Forgive, don't forget...

The Book Thief is the amazing story of a young girl named Liesel growing up in Germany's wartime era. Her father is a communist, her mother is in trouble with the Nazi party and her little brother soon dies.
She is sent to live with her foster parents Hans and Rosa Hubermann in Himmel street and befriends amongst other children, a boy named Rudy who is in love with her and becomes her best friend.
Theirs are a poor life and hunger their constant companion. Both children are also members of the Hitler Youth movement.

Books are a rare commodity in Nazi Germany, and Hans or Papa, teaches Liesel to read whilst writing on the basement wall and playing his accordion.

The book is written from Death's point of view -quite a novelty - and we discover Liesel will eventually meet Death 4 times.

During these harsh times, Liesel's foster parents hide a Jewish fist fighter in their basement and thus begins a friendship betwixt the young girl and the man called Max.

As the story unravels, we learn what it truly was to live in Hitler's Germany until one day, Hans Hubermann gives a morsel of bread to a Jew on the road to Dachau and tragedy strikes.

As I have stated before, there is a very fine line betwixt reviewing a book and giving all the facts, thus withholding the opportunity for anyone to discover for themselves a fine book.

This book is rated as Young Adult material but I am convinced any adult will discover in it a world rarely even acknowledged.
The original format, the 550 pages, the words of the narrator alone - " I am haunted by Humans" - makes this a powerful message to be read not just by young people!
This is the kind of book that at the end, you close, rest your hand on its cover and just feel with your heart as well as your mind.

Always forgive, never forget!
Such a simple message, and a hard earned one at the cost of over 60 millions souls...

Just a reminder as always: I was not asked to read this book and the afore mention reflects only my opinion albeit I will also add, I am looking forward to read more of Markus Zusak's work!

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