Death, Friendship, and the Power of Words: Reflections of the Holocaust in Liesel Meminger’s Traumatic Story
College of Arts and Sciences
Master of Arts in English (MA)
Matthew D Towles
Holocaust, Literature, Markus Zusak, Recovery, The Book Thief, Trauma
Arts and Humanities | English Language and Literature | European History
Yoder, Jerusha J., "Death, Friendship, and the Power of Words: Reflections of the Holocaust in Liesel Meminger’s Traumatic Story" (2018). Masters Theses. 495.
Recounted through the voice of Death, The Book Thief explores the process of trauma recovery as it follows the story of young Liesel Meminger in Nazi Germany. The traumatic loss of her mother and brother rattle Liesel’s developing identity and destroy her personal narrative; however, as her story unfolds, she finds the strength to recover through the safety of friends and the power of words. Utilizing prominent theories in trauma recovery, this thesis charts Liesel’s recovery process in the wake of her traumatic loss. In this way, her story exposes the destructive power of trauma and affirms the importance of community in the rehabilitation of the traumatized. As a result, The Book Thief joins the tradition of Holocaust Literature by reflecting the collective experience of Holocaust survivors.