15 Hans Hubermann Quotes With Page Numbers From The Book Thief

Hans Hubermann gives the courage to overcome mistakes and show compassion in difficult times.

Hans Hubermann is pivotal in Markus Zusak’s novel The Book Thief. His compassion and bravery outshine the adversities of World War II.

He’s the foster father to Liesel Meminger and a protector of his Jewish friend, Max Vandenburg.

Hans also stands as a beacon of humanity, even under the oppressive reign of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.

His character resonates with the profundity of kindness and conviction, demonstrating how one can be a hero by acting against fear and hatred.

The Book Thief Quotes With Page Numbers

Hans Hubermann Quotes With Page Numbers

“To most people, Hans Huberman was barely visible. An un-special person. Certainly his painting skills were excellent. His musical ability was better than average. Somehow, though . . . he was able to appear as merely part of the background. . . . Not noticeable. Not important or particularly valuable.”

~Markus Zusak, The Book Thief, (by Death about Hans Hubermann), Page 34


“He came in every night and sat with her. The first couple of times, he simply stayed—a stranger to kill the aloneness. A few nights after that, he whispered, ‘Shhh, I’m here, it’s all right.’ After three weeks, he held her. Trust was accumulated quickly, due primarily to the brute strength of the man’s gentleness, his thereness. The girl knew from the outset that Hans Huberman would always appear midscream, and he would not leave.”

~Markus Zusak, The Book Thief, (by Death about Hans Hubermann), Page 36


“It’s hard to not like a man who not only notices the colors, but speaks them.”

~Markus Zusak, The Book Thief, (by Death), about Hans Hubermann, Page 87


“You’re either for the Führer or against him—and I can see that you’re against him. You always have been…. It’s pathetic—how a man can stand by and do nothing as a whole nation cleans out the garbage and makes itself great…. You coward.”

~Markus Zusak, The Book Thief, (by Hans Junior to Hans Hubermann), Page 105


“Did he bend down and embrace his foster daughter, as he wanted to do? 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.”

~Markus Zusak, The Book Thief, (by Death about Hans Hubermann), Pages 115-16


“The majority of young men in his platoon were eager to fight. Hans wasn’t so sure. I had taken a few of them along the way, but you could say I never even came close to touching Hans Hubermann… In the army, he didn’t stick out at either end. He ran in the middle, climbed in the middle, and could shoot straight enough not to affront his superiors. Nor did he excel enough to be one of the first chosen to run straight at me.”

~Markus Zusak, The Book Thief, (by Death about Hans Hubermann), Page 174


“It was a man a year older than himself—a German Jew named Erik Vandenburg—who taught him to play the accordion. The two of them gradually became friends due to the fact that neither of them was terribly interested in fighting. They preferred rolling cigarettes to rolling in snow and mud. They preferred shooting craps to shooting bullets. A firm friendship was built on gambling, smoking, and music, not to mention a shared desire for survival.”

~Markus Zusak, The Book Thief, (by Death about Hans Hubermann), Page 175


“It was the accordion that most likely spared him from total ostracism. Painters there were, from all over Munich, but under the brief tutorage of Eric Vandenburg and nearly two decades of steady practice, there was no one in Molching who could play exactly like him. It was a style not of perfection, but warmth. Even mistakes had a good feeling about them.”

~Markus Zusak, The Book Thief, (by Death about Hans Hubermann), Page 183


“Many times, on the way home, women with nothing but kids and poverty would come running out and plead with him to paint their blinds. “Frau Hallah, I’m sorry, I have no black paint left,” he would say, but a little farther down the road, he would always break…. “Tomorrow,” he’d promise, “first thing,” and when the next morning dawned, there he was, painting those blinds for nothing or for a cookie or a warm cup of tea. The previous evening, he’d have found another way to turn blue or green or beige to black.”

~Markus Zusak, The Book Thief, (by Death and Hans Hubermann), Page 354


“I…” He struggled to answer. “When everything was quiet, I went up to the corridor and the curtain in the livingroom was open just a crack… I could see outside. I watched, only for a few seconds.” He had not seen the outside world for twenty-two months.

There was no anger or reproach.

It was Papa who spoke.

How did it look?”

Max lifted his head, with great sorrow and great astonishment. “There were stars,” he said. “They burned by eyes.”

~Markus Zusak, The Book Thief, (by Hans Hubermann and Max Vandenburg), Pages 377-78

Max Vandenburg Quotes From The Book Thief


“Well, Hubermann. Looks like you’ve got away with it, doesn’t it?… You’ll rest up. They’ll ask me what we should do with you. I’ll tell them you did a great job… And I think I’ll tell them you’re not fit for the LSE anymore and you should be sent back to Munich to work in an office job or do whatever cleaning up needs doing there…. You’re lucky I like you Hubermann. You’re lucky you’re a good man, and generous with the cigarettes.”

~Markus Zusak, The Book Thief, (The Doctor to Hans Hubermann), Page 477


“The words. Why did they have to exist? Without them, there wouldn’t be any of this.”

~Markus Zusak, The Book Thief, (by Hans Hubermann), about words, Page 521


“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, The Book Thief, (by Death), about Hans, Page 531


“Goodbye, Papa, you saved me. You taught me to read. No one can play like you. I’ll never drink champagne. No one can play like you.”

~Markus Zusak, The Book Thief, (by Liesel Meminger), about Hans Hubermann, Pages 538-39

Liesel Meminger Quotes With Page Numbers


A picture of a person playing an accordion in a blue shirt, with the text overlay: " Hans Hubermann Quotes With Page Numbers From The Book Thief"


Hans Hubermann Description

  • Hans Hubermann is a character from Markus Zusak’s novel, “The Book Thief.” He is described as an average, unnoticeable man to the general public. Yet, he possesses exceptional painting skills and slightly above-average musical abilities, which make him fascinating to some people (Page 34).
  • His therapeutic presence is noticeable when he sits with a girl every night to offer solace, exhibiting extreme tenderness and trustworthiness. This instantly builds trust in the girl as his availability brings comfort and relief (Page 36).
  • Hans’ fascinating character extends to his ability to notice and verbalize colors, a trait not commonly found in others and liked by many (Page 87).
  • He holds personal convictions that might not align with collective thought, as seen in the criticisms heaped on him by Hans Junior for not supporting the Führer and not joining in the national movement (Page 105).
  • Even though he demonstrates a strong affection towards his foster daughter, Liesel Meminger, he enforces discipline and holds firm boundaries. Although his methods seem harsh, he takes these measures to maintain decorum (Pages 115-16).
  • Hans is seen as an average man within the army, not standing out in any capacity. However, his lack of overzealous ambition during his military service seems to save him from the direct line of fire (Page 174).
  • His ability to form deeper connections is reflected in his friendship with Erik Vandenburg, a German Jew. They bond over music, cigarettes, and a preference for peace over fighting (Page 175).
  • Despite the abundance of painters in Munich, Hans possesses a unique ability to play the accordion, saving him from complete ostracism. The warmth of his music, even in its imperfection, sets him apart (Page 183).
  • Hans also showcases noticeable kindness. When he runs out of black paint, he goes out of his way to fulfill his commitment to painting blinds for destitute women (Page 354).
  • His character is layered and fundamentally gentle, but he can be firm when the situation demands it. Interactions with Hans evoke a sense of trust, comfort, and warmth among those around him. Contradictory to the public’s perceived insignificance of him, Hans’ ability to touch lives belies his unassuming nature.



What is Hans Hubermann known for?

Hans Hubermann is known for his multifaceted abilities as a skillful house painter and a proficient accordion player. He vividly caught attention for his endearing fatherly role towards Liesel, his adoptive daughter, notably as he helped her cope with her new life and profoundly taught her how to read.

His tender kindness, unwavering moral strength, and inherent ability to make the best in dire situations distinguish him as a symbolic figure in their tumultuous war-stricken times.


Why does Hans Hubermann feel guilty?

Hans Hubermann feels guilty because he feels indebted to Erik Vandenburg, a Jewish man who once saved his life.

After Erik’s demise, Hans feels an ethical obligation to safeguard his son, Max Vandenburg, by concealing him in their basement during the Nazi reign.

However, the guilt intensifies when he succumbs to fear and expels Max from their home to avoid getting caught, demonstrating a drastic shift from his initial moral stance.


What is the symbol of Hans Hubermann?

Hans Hubermann symbolizes humanity’s inherent goodness and moral courage amid brutal circumstances. His actions, like his willingness to paint windows black for people free of cost or offering bread to a stranger in need, display a selfless and compassionate nature.


Why does Hans slap Liesel?

Hans slaps Liesel to protect her from the danger of openly expressing hateful sentiments towards Hitler and the Nazi party. In the era of Nazi power, such words could attract severe punishment. Hans’ action, although severe, signifies his deep love and desire to shield Liesel from potential trouble with the Nazis.


What are Hans’s two mistakes?

Hans makes two significant mistakes that ultimately lead to negative outcomes. His first mistake is giving a piece of bread to a dying Jew, which, despite being a compassionate act, triggers a chain of events culminating in Max leaving the safety of Hans’s basement and eventually being captured and sent to a concentration camp.

Similarly, his second mistake is an act of kindness where he gives up his spot on the bus for Reinhold Zucker; sadly, Zucker dies in an ensuing bus accident while Hans stays relatively unharmed.


Why did Hans Hubermann get whipped?

Hans Hubermann got whipped for giving his bread to a struggling Jewish prisoner who was paraded through Liesel’s town on the way to Dachau, a concentration camp. This act of compassion went against the oppressive rules enforced by the Nazi soldiers. Hence, he was punished for his deed.

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