Part 1: The Heavyweight Champion of the School-Yard Quote
"The day of the announcement, Papa was lucky enough to have some work. On his way home, he picked up a discarded newspaper… and slipped it beneath his shirt. By the time he made it home and removed it, his sweat had drawn the ink onto his skin. The paper landed on the table, but the news was stapled to his chest. A tattoo… "What does it say?" Liesel asked him… "'Hitler takes Poland,'" he answered, and Hans Hubermann slumped into a chair."
This quote expresses the dangerous time they are living in. The fact is that no matter how strong Hans appears, even he is worried and nervous about the outcome of Hitler's actions.
"You know, Liesel? I nearly wrote you a reply and signed your mother's name. […] But I couldn't. I couldn't bring myself."
This quote demonstrates Hans character and the fact that sometimes love simply means telling the truth. Love is behind Hans's desire to shield Liesel from the fact that her mother is dead, but the truth is much more helpful. By Hans telling Liesel the truth she learns that Hitler is at the root of her mother's disappearance, and she sees Nazism for what it is.
"Hans Hubermann held his hand out and presented a piece of bread"
Hans will do anything for others, and this quote shows his selfless nature. He risks his life and his families life to hide Max, a Jew in their basement, and he is now feeding the Jewish prisoners on their way to Dachau. This is obviously considered a crime by the Nazi guards, but Hans does it anyway. Although feeding someone a piece of bread seems like a small thing, it was big to the Jewish people who saw it as an act of true kindness.
"I hate the Führer," she said. "I hate him." And Hans Hubermann? What did he do? What did he say? Did he bend down and embrace his foster daughter, as he wanted to? Did he tell her that he was sorry for what was happening to her, to her mother, for what had happened to her brother? Not exactly. He clenched his eyes. Then opened them. He slapped Liesel Meminger squarely in the face. "Don't ever say that!" His voice was quiet, but sharp.
This passage/conversation is extremely important, because we never see Hans get violent with Liesel, it is always Rosa. This rare moment of violence communicates the seriousness of the situation. Liesel saying such a thing within the hearing of the wrong person could mean a death sentence. Hans will soon be hiding a Jew in his home and any statement about them, or condemning Hitler could be extremely dangerous.
" In 1933, 90 percent of Germans showed unflinching support for Adolph Hitler. That leaves 10 percent who didn't. Hans Hubermann belonged to that ten percent."
I wanted to include this statistic, because it is very scary and startling, especially for Hans and people like him.