The Nazi Reign in Germany
In 1938, amongst the Nazi reign in Germany a young orphan named Liesel arrives at a new foster home. Her foster parents, Hans and Rosa, slowly learn that their newly adopted child cannot read, so in result Hans teaches the child written language and how to understand and interpret it. Soon after, Liesel begins to have an undying love for books, so much as so that she saved an important book from a Nazi bonfire. Amidst the chaos of finding Jewish men and women and capturing them, Liesel’s foster father, Hans, decides to secretly shelter a Jewish boy whose father once saved his life in the past. Throughout the rest of the film the friendship of this boy and Liesel grew, but in the midst of war and death threats the lives of Liesel and her family never went back to being the same. The film overall brings light to social issues such as sexism, racism, and outright segregation of people in Germany at that time. By showing this personal story of the war the audience is able to gain an in-depth analysis of how each and every person in Germany was affected by the uprising of Nazis.
Particular scene in the movie that stuck out from the rest were the death of Rudy Steiner, Hans, and Rosa Hubermann. In the scene Rudy tries to tell Liesel that he loves her just before dying, however he was in so much pain and agony that he couldn’t make the words out. In the novel though, Liesel finds Rudy’s dead body and finally kisses him. This is important because throughout the novel Rudy always was asking for a kiss, yet Liesel would refuse. At last in the final scene though, Liesel shows her secret love for Rudy when she finds his dead body.
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This specific scene hits every point of sexism, racism, and segregation because throughout the film Jewish people were being targeted for their beliefs. This form of racism impacts the audience in a very strong way because it goes against all of society’s morals and ethics of treating everyone as equal. This cause the audience to side with the victims and ultimately create more affection for the main character. This scene also hits sexism because men and women throughout the film were often separated and doing different tasks for the Nazi soldiers. Men would work in the yard while women, more often than not, would be doing something else. Segregation however is most apparent in this scene due to Rudy being Jewish and he was the one being targeted by Nazi’s due to his beliefs. This causes the audience to feel a sense of guilt towards Liesel because the boy she fell in love with was taken away due to an unjust cause.
Another scene that directly correlates on these topics is Hans’ incident with the Nazi officer. In the book Hans gives some bread to a Jew, but soon after Hans and the Jew are whipped by a Nazi officer. In the movie however, the scene is less violent because instead of getting whipped, Hans tells the officer his name, which creates fear and paranoia in Hans’ mind.
This scene sheds lights on the topics of racism and segregation because Hans is being scrutinized for feeding a Jew that only wanted a simple piece of bread. The officer asking for Hans’ name demonstrated how seriously the issue of having Jews in Germany was to the government. This small gesture of asking for Hans’ name creates a sense of uncomfortableness in the audience because now they know that Hans is on the radar of the government and this could potentially expose the Jew hidden in his household.
The most important scene however was the discovery of Max to Rudy. This discovery was on accident because Max’s name was written in a book of Liesel’s. Having the boy discover this while Max is still living in the basement adds tension to the story and further emphasizes the emotional burdens of segregation, racism, and sexism the war put on children. This particular event also bonds the two young children, ultimately making the final scene gut wrenching.
This scene justifies the fact that the actions the Nazis were doing in Germany at the time was wrong and terribly unjust. This film is a great film because it was able to capture a story of the Nazi takeover in Germany, when in reality there were so many other people with this same story or even worse! This puts into perspective how grueling the pain of being affiliated with any of this was, and ultimately leaves the audience in awe of how young men and women could endure a circumstance as bad as this.
This film is outstanding due mainly to the fact that it displayed the reality of this war in a shocking and raw point of view. Watching this film allows an individual to experience the multitude of emotions a young family had to endure in the time of the Nazi reign in Germany. All in all, the emphasis on sexism, racism, and segregation are all put on display in almost every minute of this move due to the constant chaos that would emerge after every scene. Ultimately, this film puts into perspective how difficult one’s life was living in Germany at this time