There are two sides to every coin. When Adolf Hitler took charge in World War 2, he had his own reasons to fight the jews and so did the Jews had their own reasons to hate Hitler. But in this tug of war, it was the innocent children who were getting hurt the most. The war, the hatred, the pseudo nationalism made them shred their innocense and their little hearts were left filled with hatred and darkness. Many were confused about what was happening, many pretended to know, many traied to escape and many failed before their attempts. We have read many books and seen many films about what Hitler and his troops did to the Jews. It was one of the most terrifying scenes in the history of the world. But what about the German voices? The German children were brainwashed and lost their childhood the same way the Jew children did. The German children may not have been a part of the concentration camps but the war surely left huge impacts on their tiny innocent souls.
The story of the other side, the German side of suffering, was portrayed in The Book Thief. The film is based on a book by the same name written by Markus Zusak. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to read the book, but I saw the equally (I believe) powerful movie.
The movie is narrated by a voice of death. It tells us about the little girl who in the beginning can’t read but with the help of her adoptive father learns to read and write profoundly. The family is helping a Jew boy by giving him shelter in their basement. The girl steals the books from the mayor’s house (she justifies it by saying that she is ‘borrowing’) and reads them to that sick Jew boy.
The characters of children are written with great admiration. You feel sorry for them, pity for them, you get angry as we see them enjoying the news of war, we can’t understand why they are behaving so devilishly and most importantly we keep wishing a happy ending for them.
We feel the pain of the mother of 4 children as she kisses good bye to her husband and sends him to fight a war knowing that she might never see him again. We feel extreme anger in our hearts as young soldiers make fun of an old man who was conscripted. We feel our heart skipping beats as death suck the life out of people sleeping soundly in their beds and from children trying to say I love you.
I won’t say that the movie ends with a happy ending, it takes away one last soul. As the death says nothing is forever and forever is a small word in front of death. We humans are haunted by death from the moment we are born. But in this movie I got a chance to witness the death haunted by humans.
I strongly recommend everyone to watch this movie to know the other side, to know what death thinks and to feel the emotions of the children who lost their innocence.