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The Best & Important Book Thief Quotes About Death & Words

Here’s a selection of The Book Thief Quotes, covering topics such as movies, love, life and inspiration.

We really hope you enjoy these quotes and that they give you something to think about.

Together, they would watch everything that was so carefully planned collapse, and they would smile at the beauty of destruction.
Markus Zusak

Alex Steiner: Why?  Why Jesse Owens?
Rudy Steiner: Why?  He’s the fastest man on Earth.

Alex: Son, you can’t go around painting yourself black, y’hear?
Rudy: Why not?

Alex: Because you shouldn’t want to be black people.
Rudy: Why?

Alex: Because I say so.  Ja?

I’ve always quite liked the image of me with a sickle and cape, dark and formidable.  Unfortunately, I’m far more ordinary and commonplace. No one intended to destroy a street named after Heaven-it was a misread on a map.  No sirens that evening. First were Rudy’s brothers.  I read their simple dreams.  Then I kissed his mother.  And stole the meanness from Franz Deutscher’s heart.  Rosa I caught mid-snore.  I could swear I heard her call me a saukarl.  Then I felt her regrets for not sharing more of her very big heart.  As for Hans, his soul was lighter than a child’s.  I felt his itch for one last tune on his accordion, and heard his final thought, “Liesel.

How many times did she have to say goodbye?.
Markus Zusak

After another ten minutes, the gates of thievery would open just a crack, and liesel meminger would widen them a little further and squeeze through.

***two questions***
would the gates shut behind her?
or would they have the goodwill to let her back out?

as liesel would discover, a good thief requires many things.
stealth. Nerve. Speed.
more important than any of those things, however, was one final requirement.

forget the ten minutes.
the gates open now.

Markus Zusak

Oh, come on, arthur.”
“i don’t want to hear it, andy.”
“jesus christ”
“he doesn’t want to hear it, either.
Markus Zusak

Max: But, if they come and find me here, they’ll take all of you away.Liesel: No, Max.Max: I have to, Liesel. 
I’m sorry.Liesel: But you promised.Max: It’s for your own good. 
For your family.Liesel: But you’re my family.

Hans: His father gave up his life for me.  And I made a promise to the family, if ever I could help them, I would.  I gave them my word.  Now, I need you to promise me.  I need you to give me your word that you will not tell anyone about our visitor.  Nobody.  Not a soul.  Not even Rudy.  I mean it, Liesel-not a soul.  Understand?

Liesel: Ja.Hans: A person is only as good as their word, Liesel.  Do I have yours?

Liesel: Ja, Papa.  I promise.

If only she could be so oblivious again, to feel such love without knowing it, mistaking it for laughter.
Markus Zusak

You may find this hard to believe, but it’s the best thing I’ve ever thrown up.

Here is a small fact: you are going to die”
“does this scare you? I urge you don’t be afraid, i’m nothing if not fair”
– death.
Markus Zusak

Franz: I’m reporting you.Liesel: For what?  Having a diary?
Franz: I know you’re up to something.

Words are life, Liesel.

A snowball in the face is surely the perfect beginning to a lasting friendship.
Markus Zusak

He was the crazy one who had painted himself black and defeated the world.

she was the book thief without the words.

trust me, though, the words were on their way, and when they arrived, liesel would hold them in her hands like the clouds, and she would wring them out like rain.

Markus Zusak

From the studio that brought you Life of Pi

Her teeth were like a soccer crowd, crammed in.
Zusak Markus

An attribute of rosa hubermann, she was a good woman for a crisis.
Markus Zusak

I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race – that rarely do I even simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant…i am haunted by humans.
Markus Zusak

When I finally caught up with Max Vandenburg’s soul, it was this moment that haunted him the most.  For leaving his mother.  For feeling that awful, light-headed relief that he would live.

The moon was sewn into the sky that night.
Markus Zusak

Like most misery, it started with apparent happiness.
Markus Zusak

A definition not found
in the dictionary
not leaving: an act of trust and love,
often deciphered by children.
Markus Zusak

Hans Hubermann: Rosa, you cannot blame the boy for dying.Rose Hubermann: No, I blame his mother. 
Dragging them across the country unfed, unwashed.Hans: She was running for her life.

The bombs were coming thicker now. t’s probably fair to say that no one was able to serve the Führer as loyally as me.

Papa sat with me tonight. He brought the accordion down and sat close to where max used to sit. I often look at his fingers and face when he plays. The accordion breathes. There are lines on his cheeks. They look drawn on, and for some reason, when I see them, I want to cry. It is not for any sadness or pride. I just like the way they move and change. Sometimes I think my papa is an accordion. When he looks at me and smiles and breathes, I hear the notes.
Markus Zusak

I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn’t already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race-that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.
Markus Zusak

Liesel: I don’t understand.  What did he do so wrong?
Max: He reminded people of their humanity.

Courage beyond words.

Humans, if nothing else, have the good sense to die.
Markus Zusak

When death captures me,” the boy vowed, “he will feel my fist in his face.” (31.26).
Markus Zusak

Rudy: I hate Hitler.Liesel: Me, too.  [Rudy looks at Liesel.  Liesel shouts.] 
I hate Hitler!Rudy: [shouts]  I hate Hitler![The two continue shouting insults against Hitler]

Burn a book.  Go on, burn a book.  Go on.  I’ll be watching-both of you.

She leaned down and looked at his lifeless face and leisel kissed her best friend, rudy steiner, soft and true on his lips. He tasted dusty and sweet. He tasted like regret in the shadows of trees and in the glow of the anarchist’s suit collection. She kissed him long and soft, and when she pulled herself away, she touched his mouth with her fingers…she did not say goodbye. She was incapable, and after a few more minutes at his side, she was able to tear herself from the ground. It amazes me what humans can do, even when streams are flowing down their faces and they stagger on…
Markus Zusak

Even death has a heart.
Markus Zusak

If your eyes could speak, what would they say.
Max Vandenburg “The Book Thief

One was a book thief. The other stole the sky.
Markus Zusak

How about a kiss, saumensch?”

he stood waist-deep in the water for a few moments longer before climbing out and handing her the book. His pants clung to him, and he did not stop walking. In truth, I think he was afraid. Rudy steiner was scared of the book thief’s kiss. He must have longed for it so much. He must have loved her so incredibly hard. So hard that he would never ask for her lips again and would go to his grave without them.

Markus Zusak

*** a small announcement ***
about rudy steiner
he didn’t deserve to die the way he did.
Markus Zusak

His soul sat up. It met me. Those kinds of souls always do – the best ones. The ones who rise up and say “i know who you are and I am ready. Not that I want to go, of course, but I will come.” those souls are always light because more of them have been put out. More of them have already found their way to other places.
Markus Zusak

Liesel: There once was a ghost of a boy who liked to live in the shadows so he wouldn’t frighten people.  His job was to wait for his sister, who was still alive. 
She wasn’t afraid of the dark because she knew, that’s where her brother was.Rosa: Go on.Liesel: At night, when darkness came to her room, she would tell her brother about the day.  She would remind him how the sun felt on his skin, and what the air felt like to breathe, or how snow felt on his tongue.  And that reminded her that she was still alive.

The germans in basements were pitiable, surely, but at least they had a chance. That basement was not a washroom. They were not sent there for a shower. For those people, life was still achievable.
Markus Zusak

I miss my dad.  I don’t even know if he’s alive.  I’m not ready.  I want to grow up before I die.

Somewhere, far down, there was an itch in his heart, but he made it a point not to scratch it. He was afraid of what might come leaking out.
Markus Zusak

Make no mistake, the woman had a heart. She had a bigger one that people would think. There was a lot in it, stored up, high in miles of hidden shelving. Remember that she was the woman with the instrument strapped to her body in the long, moon-slit night.
Markus Zusak

While ten thousand souls hid their heads in fear, and trembled, one Jew thanked God for the stars that blessed his eyes.

Max Vandenburg: Hans Hubermann.
Hans: Ja.Max: Do you still play the accordion?
Hans: Quickly![Hans pulls Max into house.  Shuts door.  Max collapses onto floor.]

The sky is blue today, max, and there is a big long cloud, and it’s stretched out, like a rope. At the end of it, the sun is
like a yellow hole. . .
Markus Zusak

The question is, what colour will everything be at that moment when I come for you? what will the sky be saying?.
Markus Zusak

It’s always been the same, the excitement and rush to war.  I’ve met so many young men over the years who have thought they were running at their enemy, when the truth was, they were running to me.

I carried [rudy] softly through the broken street…with him I tried a little harder [at comforting]. I watched the contents of his soul for a moment and saw a black-painted boy calling the name jesse owens as he ran through an imaginary tape. I saw him hip-deep in some icy water, chasing a book, and I saw a boy lying in bed, imagining how a kiss would taste from his glorious next-door neighbor. He does something to me, that boy. Every time. It’s his only detriment. He steps on my heart. He makes me cry.
Markus Zusak

People observe the colors of a day only at its beginnings and ends, but to me it’s quite clear that a day merges through a multitude of shades and intonations with each passing moment. A single hour can consist of thousands of different colors. Waxy yellows, cloud-spot blues. Murky darkness. In my line of work, I make it a point to notice them.
Marcus Zusak

First the colors.
then the humans.
that’s usually how I see things.
or at least, how I try.
***here is a small fact***
you are going to die.
Markus Zusak

You might well ask just what the hell he was thinking. The answer is, probably nothing at all.he’d probably say he was exercising his god-given right to stupidity.
Markus Zusak

I have to say that although it broke my heart, I was, and still am, glad I was there.
Markus Zusak

Hair the color of lemons,'” rudy read. His fingers touched the words. “you told him about me?”

at first, liesel could not talk. Perhaps it was the sudden bumpiness of love she felt for him. Or had she always loved him? it’s likely. Restricted as she was from speaking, she wanted him to kiss her. She wanted him to drag her hand across and pull her over. It didn’t matter where. Her mouth, her neck, her cheek. Her skin was empty for it, waiting.

years ago, when they’d raced on a muddy field, rudy was a hastily assembled set of bones, with a jagged, rocky smile. In the trees this afternoon, he was a giver of bread and teddy bears. He was a triple hitler youth athletics champion. He was her best friend. And he was a month from his death.

of course I told him about you,” liesel said.

Markus Zusak

Clearly,” said arthur,”you’re an idiot- but you’re our kind of idiot. Come on.
Markus Zusak

Papa, come home.

I am haunted by humans.
Markus Zusak

Don’t make me happy. Please, don’t fill me up and let me think that something good can come of any of this. Look at my bruises. Look at this graze. Do you see the graze inside me? do you see it growing before your very eyes, eroding me? I don’t want to hope for anything anymore.
markus zusak

Where hans hubermann and erik vandenburg were ultimately united by music, max and liesel were held together by the quiet gathering of words.
Markus Zusak

The only thing worse than a boy who hates you: a boy that loves you.
Markus Zusak

Liesel: What are you doing, Papa?
Hans: Working, for once.Rudy: I thought you painted signs, not scraped them off.
Hans: Well, the scraping-off business is picking up, Rudy.  What can you do?

Liesel: They’re coming.Rosa: Who?
Liesel: They’re checking basements.

Imagine smiling after a slap in the face. Then think of doing it twenty-four hours a day.
Markus Zusak

In my job, I am always finding humans at their best and their worst.  I see their ugliness and their beauty, and I wonder how the same thing can be both.

She enjoyed the small fragments of pain.
Markus Zusak

I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.
Markus Zusak

What was I thinking?  [begins sobbing]  He took my name!  [[Jesus of Nazareth|Christ on the Cross, what have I done?  [Rosa shushes Hans gently]  I’ve ruined us, I’ve ruined us!  I’m sorry, Rosa.  I’m sorry.

She was saying goodbye and she didn’t even know it.
Markus Zusak

Liesel: Rudy?
Rudy: Saumensch. 
Liesel: Shh.
Rudy: I need to tell you…
Liesel: Don’t speak.
Rudy: I need to say it.  I lo-
Liesel: Rudy?  Rudy, nein!  Rudy, wake up!  Rudy, nein!  Wake up, Rudy!  Rudy, wake up!  Rudy, kiss me!

A small fact:
you are going to die….does this worry you?.
Markus Zusak

He does something to me, that boy. Every time. It’s his only detriment. He steps on my heart. He makes me cry.
Markus Zusak

The consequence of this is that i’m always finding humans at their best and worst. I see their ugly and their beauty, and I wonder how the same thing can be both. (death).
Markus Zusak

He stood a few meters from the step and spoke with great conviction, great joy.
“alles ist scheisse,” he announced.
all is sh*t.
Markus Zusak

Había una vez un hombre bajito y extraño que decidió tres cosas importantes acerca de su vida:
1. Que se haría la raya del pelo en el lado contrario a todos los demás.
2. Que se dejaría un pequeño y extraño bigote.
3. Que un día dominaría el mundo.
Markus Zusak

Hans, where did you put the flag?  If we don’t find it, it’s going to look like we’re saying something.

A small but noteworthy note. I’ve seen so many young men over the years who think they’re running at other young men. They are not. They are running at me.
Markus Zusak

One small fact: You are going to die. Despite every effort, no one lives forever. Sorry to be such a spoiler. My advice is, when the time comes, don’t panic. It doesn’t seem to help. I guess I should introduce myself properly, but then again, you’ll meet me soon enough-not before your time, of course; I make it a policy to avoid the living.

She was a jew feeder without a question in the world on that man’s first night in molching. She was an arm reacher, deep into a mattress, to deliver a sketchbook to a teenage girl. (84.25).
Markus Zusak

My heart is so tired.
Markus Zusak

Usually we walk around constantly believing ourselves. “i’m okay” we say. “i’m alright”. But sometimes the truth arrives on you and you can’t get it off. That’s when you realize that sometimes it isn’t even an answer–it’s a question. Even now, I wonder how much of my life is convinced.
Markus Zusak

It kills me sometimes, how people die.
Markus Zusak

Rosa: Can we trust her?
Hans: She’s our daughter.
Rosa: She’s a child-
Hans: Rosa, we have no choice.
Rosa: He looks like death.
Hans: He’s probably forgotten what food tastes like.
Rosa: And what are we going to feed him on?  We barely have enough to feed ourselves.
Hans: We will make do.
Rosa: Oh, “we will make do.”
Hans: We have always known that, one day, this may happen.  Hmm?
Rosa: We could turn him in tomorrow.  The authorities would understand-  We could say it was late at night-
Hans: Rosa.
Rosa: I know.
Hans: He came to us.  I owe his family everything.
Rosa: I know.

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