Review: The Book Thief

The Book Thief
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am a book thief as well, so I loved this book. Of course, you need to define what is a thief first before you judge me.

Narrated by Death itself, in need of a vacation and haunted by Humans, he tells a story of an orphan during the WW2. Her love for Books and her adventures reminded me a bit of Mark Twain stories but modernized and with much more powerful feelings. The author takes you up high with big smiles and bright lines and then it lands you down under the earth without knowing what hit you. This book defiantly will become a classic, and I’m so eager to see the movie as well.

Is full of symbolism against tyranny and how masses are manipulated to believe or forced to think to survive. Written by a German, gives a fantastic insight how it was to live in Hitler’s Germany. Not yet another Jew story, that’s not what this book is all about. Is about a superhero girl that wants to learn by stealing books from the pyre of the Nazi party book burning events. In the next 30 minutes will buy this book for my daughters, they must read it.

One character especially made me remember something from my love Malcolm X years, Jesse Owens. He and 2 other athletes made also an act of defiance in a different way.

Nazi Germany Olympics

Jesse Owens destroyed Nazism without firing a bullet. Perhaps the greatest and most famous athlete in track and field history. What did he do? In 1936, he participated in the Olympics held in Nazi Germany and won multiple times. This symbolic action destroyed the “Aryan superiority” propaganda of the Nazi party. However here the spin starts. Most media reported that Hitler snob Jesse (didn’t congratulate him on the win) to inflate the news of a black man winning Nazi Germany and fuel an Anti-Nazi propaganda. Both Jesse and others confirm that Hitler here acted rather per protocol and did congratulate the “inferior race.”

A briliant moment in History

He was the first African-American to get corporate sponsorship from Adidas, a Germany company. Adidas CEO was a member of the Nazi party but as described in the “the book thief” most people probably they didn’t have a choice of not doing so. Now how they were making durable shoe sole during the war is another story, mainly putting Prisoners to walk endlessly around the camp, at least that what was written in the Sachsenhausen camp the last time that I visited.  PS: I love Adidas, Im wearing Adidas as Im writing these lines and I know that evil is embedded in everything around us, in balance with good as in Yin and Yang.

Jesse returned to American to live in segregated housing, separated from white people. The same people that printed and publish how Jesse destroyed “Aryan superiority” in Berlin.

Conclusion: morality and politics are living in 2 parallel universes, and you need to constantly dig deeper, read, to form an opinion on what is right and was force fed into you.

1968 Olympics

In 1968, 2 African Americans won in the Olympics, and they raised their fist up in the air. They told they did it for human rights. They also received their medals shoeless, but wearing black socks, to represent black poverty. All three athletes wore Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR) badges while receiving their medals.

Human rights act

What did President Avery Brundage of the Olympic Committee do? He stripped them off the medals because they made a political statement (about human rights). Brundage, who was president of the United States Olympic Committee in 1936, had made no objections against Nazi salutes during the Berlin Olympics. He argued that the Nazi salute, being a national tribute at the time, was acceptable in a competition of nations, while the athletes’ salute was not of a nation and therefore unacceptable.

Even until today, the IOC refuses to apologize, accept and return the medals back to those fantastic athletes.

Remember in 1968 black people were considered a second class race and was segregated in the USA. What more one needs to promote a human rights cause, especially in a global event?

Conclusion: if it serves the establishment against someone else is OK but if it is against the establishment then is not.

Did politics ever affect the ancient Olympic games? Yes, for humanistic reasons and multiple times. That’s what Olympics is all about, humanity and our human issues.

IOC give back the medals to those heroes! Don’t be a real thief.


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