I’m completely drawn into the book I’m reading, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
Narrated by ‘Death’, its writing style and storyline have captured my imagination. At the same time, it’s making me think about how humans haven’t progressed far in terms of persecution.
The protagonist Liesel is a sturdy figure, a young girl in the moral wastelands of wartime Germany. I haven’t finished the book yet, but we’ve just been joined by Max, a fist-fighting Jew, now hiding in the basement.
Max and Liesel slowly befriend each other. For a birthday present, with nothing to offer, Max paints over the words of Mein Kampf and writes her a story.
Liesel enters the basement one morning to thank Max and notices him asleep behind paint tins and dropsheets. Like any child, innocence coursing through her veins, she climbs into the makeshift bed with him and hugs him as they fall asleep. Society would see a Jew and a girl. They see an opportunity to be at peace.
I asked the mini men to pipe down the other night as I tried to watch the news. They carried on like pork chops.
“Gee, you guys would be great hiding in a hidden apartment in 1942, wouldn’t you?” I said.
When I left the men, I caught the late session of The Help. More oppression and persecution only 50 years ago.
We only have to look over our shoulders to the atrocities of the Bosnian war and ethnic cleansing.
Moving right along to Julia and our diabolical government decisions on many matters. I asked a friend why hadn’t we progressed very far — a world where Palestine still doesn’t have a seat at the UN table, a world where we still run people out of town.
We ask people to join rallies, we sign petitions and yet our governments ignore us, apathetic to the wishes of the populace.
I don’t even know what the solution is, but I know that today we are still so far from where we truly should be.
If only our children were presidents.