Blog for Ms. Ross's Classes

Period 2 Only: Heroism in The Book Thief

Throughout the novel, there are many acts of heroism. Briefly describe the one that is the best example, in your opinion, and why.

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15 responses

  1. Camb

    I think the best act of heroism in the novel was by Hans and his family when they sheltered Max. First, it is a bit of heroism just to keep a promise to someone you barely know like Hans did. That alone is a great act but to hide a Jewish person during the second World War is about as heroic, or idiotic, as one can get. Not only is Hans risking his own life, but he risks his entire family. During this time, it was probably one of the worst things a person could get caught doing because if you were caught, the punishment was obviously brutal. It shows what the Hubermann’s truly stood for and that they didn’t support Hitler and Nazi Germany which is a very big risk to take and a very heroic action if you look at it from a Jewish person’s point of view.

    March 11, 2011 at 7:01 pm

  2. A.Choi

    As we advance through the book, Rudy becomes independent and more reliable by his acts of heroism. Though at a young age, he had demonstrated selflessness, as well as compassionate attributes that stand out as a heroic figure. Even when hungry for himself, he conducted a dangerous aid to Jewish prisoners; handing out pieces of bread though he was aware of the punishment he might recieve. It is not common to experience a child putting others before himself.

    March 11, 2011 at 7:01 pm

  3. Miko Zhang

    In “The Book Thief”, acts of heroism are seen as defiant, and beautiful at the same time. There are many acts of heroism throughout the book, however the most memorable one to me was Hans giving bread to the old Jewish man. This is because of the fact that Hans risked everything in his life, all in a matter of a few seconds, just to give the poor old man some bread. Hans was not afraid of the consequences that could follow, however he may have forgotten about the safety of Max Vandenburg. Hans did not care about others opinions, he was called names and discriminated against afterwards, however he never admitted that what he did was wrong, and always stuck with his righteousness. To me, this is a true act of heroism, the act of defiance, and the act of being truthful despite the risks.

    March 12, 2011 at 11:35 pm

  4. Justin W

    I love the sense that Max’s father saved Hans’ life. Erik is Max’s father. He died around the same time Max was born, in 1916, in France, during World War I. While in France, Erik became friends with Hans Hubermann. He taught Hans to play the accordion and also saved Hans’s life by arranging for Hans to miss the day’s fatal battle.
    That day everyone knows, they were running to death. For a real man, a true hero, he will not fear death, he will only fear about only he left. After war, all of his brothers, his friends in army will die. Only one can be saved, who will live in guilt. Nobody wants that, therefore, they were keeping quiet during the question “who write good here?”. Erik Vandenburg said, Hans is the best writer here, though this way, Erik saved Hans’ life. So I think, Erik is a hero in this book, and his heroism saved not only Hans’ life, but also his son Max’s life, several years later. Erik’s acts of kindness and Hans’s visit to Erik’s widow create the foundation for Max to take shelter in the Hubermann home during the Holocaust.

    March 13, 2011 at 2:33 pm

  5. Ray L

    The best act of heroism in the novel occurred when Rudy and Liesel dropped bread on the road to the passing Jewish people running towards the Dachau concentration camp. This act was more heroic than the other acts because they dropped many pieces of bread instead of one piece of bread. This shows they were willing to do more to stand up against Hitler and the Nazis. Also, Rudy and Liesel are children that realized what the Nazis were doing was wrong, not many German children realized this. Furthermore, this act is just hard too execute. There is a lot of planning involved and the risks are greater. Rudy decided to follow what Hans did except he was smarter by dropping them when no one was looking and before the soldiers and the Jewish people ran past. In Nazi Germany, this was the one of the worst crimes a person could of committed. This act of heroism shows there was another side in Nazi Germany. There were still a few people who committed this act.

    March 13, 2011 at 2:37 pm

  6. daniel

    In the books there are many acts of raw heroism, in fact the whole book talks about the heroism of the family to take in a Jewish person. The biggest act of heroism in the book that shows the true nature of human was when Rudy and Liesel gave bread to the Jews walking this shows how kids are pure and innocent, they do not see the consequences just do what they feel is right. This happens in contrast to Rudy taking bread proving that humans are capable or both good and evil.

    March 13, 2011 at 3:11 pm

  7. Jack H

    There are many acts of heroism throughout the book, but the best one to me was Hans feeding the bread to the Jewish people. Not only Hans risking his own life, but also he risks his family. During this time, it was one of the worst things to do. But it can also be seen as an act of non-violent resistance to what the Nazis are doing? It might seem like a small thing, but it was big to the Jewish people, who saw it as an act of true kindness.

    March 13, 2011 at 7:10 pm

  8. Juan David Suarez

    There are many parts of heroism in this book from Mark’s dad saving Han’s life or the fact that they are hiding a Jew, however an act of heroism and love which I found adoring in the book it is the way Rudy puts himself in danger in order to get Liesel’s book which was thrown by Victor in to the river, this act stands out on my mind not only because he risks his life to obtain not just an object but also Liesel’s love because he knows how much it means to her, plus the image of him standing in the water mid leg high and holding the book with a smile standing in the freezing waters, this part of the book to many is not that important but to me it stood out as very romantic almost like comic book romantic.

    March 13, 2011 at 7:41 pm

  9. Kratna

    Throughout the novel heroism occurs often, yet many acts stand out more then others. For me, one of the larger acts of heroism was Walter’s involvement in facilitating Max’s travel to Himmel street. Although this act isn’t emphasized as there is no consequences to his act, the risk that Walter takes in order to save a friend is immense. As a Nazi himself he runs the risk of loosing everything including his life, yet he does it. This act of heroism helps illustrate the theme of ‘the two sides of humanity’ because the idea of a Nazi is always negative, as it should be, but through this act we can understand how not all of those in the party wanted to be there. This same theme is shown through Hans, Rudy, Rosa, and Liesel’s positive acts towards the Jewish community. The involvement in the Nazi party for many, was a form of protection, but at the same time it made their heroic acts (involving Jewish people) just as dangerous if not more because of their involvement in the party. Regardless of the size of the heroic act, many of the characters chose to risk everything in order to do what they felt was right, and that in itself is being a hero.

    March 13, 2011 at 8:07 pm

  10. Keara Bee

    An act of heroism in the Book Thief…

    For me it would be Leisel and the way she captures people with her words, as well as her actions. From the moment she sets foot on Himmel Street, lives are changed. She gives Hans and Rosa an even stronger sense of family, she is a best friend to Rudy, a sister to Max, she reads to Frau Holtzapfel, and very much changes the Ilsa Hermann. She comes as a refreshing addition to the neighbourhood. Her shining and most prominent moment is when she reads to the people of her street in the basement. As Hans shared words with her in the beginning of the story, she shares words with the people in a time of anxiety and her power is instantaneous. Her love for Max is also an act of heroism. In a time where so much as a passing nod to a Jewish person can be dangerous, she is more than willing to participate in helping shelter him. Nearing the end of the book, she publicly announces her love for him through her actions, winning her a whipping from a soldier. Liesel is an exceptionally strong person and is not easily broken, even when everyone she loves and cares about are stripped from her life.

    March 13, 2011 at 8:24 pm

  11. Larisa

    During the Book Thief, I thought heroism was portrayed by Hans and Rosa Hubermann for taking in a Jewish boy during the time where Jew’s were put into concentration camps, and if found hiding one, you were punished or even killed. They also took in Liesel at the beginning of the book when here mother didn’t want her anymore.

    March 13, 2011 at 9:18 pm

  12. Katelynd

    Through out the story there are different acts of heroism. The one that stood out the most would be Hans letting Max stay in their basement. They knew what would be the punishment if they ever had been caught hiding a Jewish person. Hans put his own life in risk and also the life’s of Rosa and Liesel. This act of kindness shows how generous and how true Hans his to his word, and will do anything to help someone else and make them happy. Hans near the end didn’t care about others opinions towards him. To me this shows the quality and attributes that makes someone a hero. Even though in a lot of Nazi Germans eyes he wasn’t a hero, he affected a life in such a way that he will be remembered as a hero even to this day.

    March 13, 2011 at 9:32 pm

  13. Jack Jang

    In my opinion, mine is really minor story but important like others. I picked Rudy as a hero in some reasons. His heroic action is shown my times. He showed his heroic action while he is running with colored black with coal. He also shows his heroic action while he is fight and compete against Franz in running race. The last heroism he showed was giving bread to Jewish people. I think his dream and role model has been changed a little bit. When he was dreamed about Jessi owen he used to be colored his skin into black, but he’s not doing it anymore, although Rudy’s father did some parts. He is doing the same action that Hans did and i supposed that he would be making his role model as Hans.

    March 13, 2011 at 10:13 pm

  14. Sdhindsa

    There are many selfless acts of heroism in the book but the one that I found to be the most memorable is Hans giving the Jewish man a piece of bread. Looking back on it, Hans’s act of kindness and heroism did more bad than good for anyone. To start, the Jewish man wasn’t able to even eat the bread and was punished. Furthermore, Hans was punished for giving the piece of bread to the man. In addition, this act only brought more negative attention to Hans and his family for being anti-nazi. Also, this may have further endangedered the life of Max. Max is being protected by the Hubermanns, and with this act there is a higher likelihood of him being caught. However, I don’t think that Hans thought about all of these things. I think it was an instinctive move to help another human being on the verge of death. This shows Hans’s true character which is why I found this the most memorable act of heroism in the book.

    March 14, 2011 at 4:06 am

  15. k lofter

    To me the greatest act of heroism in The Book Thief was how Liesel dealt with the drastic changes that took place at the beginning. Having just witnessed her younger brother’s death and lost her mother, Liesel, rather than cut herself off from the world, perseveres. She doesn’t ignore her new family, but embraces it. Instead of locking herself up all day, she goes outside, plays soccer, and makes new friends. Liesel moves on from her old life without letting it consume her, and I think that that alone is one of the most inspiring acts in all of The Book Thief.

    March 14, 2011 at 7:01 am