why might death have agreed with hans hubermann that his acts of compassion was 'stupid'?
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Hans appears to have given the bread to the older Jew almost instinctively, without thought. Liesel is deeply impressed by Hans' brave and selfless humanity, yet Hans regrets his action. Hans has brought increased scrutiny towards his family, and Max can no longer safely remain with the Hubermanns. In offering a piece of bread to a frail Jew who is virtually certain to die, Hans endangers the life of the healthier, younger, and freer Max. Moreover, the older Jew, who does not even take the bread, is harshly punished. By this line of reasoning, Hans made an illogical and foolish decision that harmed many people without helping anyone. Yet, the moral dimensions of Hans' tiny act of kindness must be considered in light of the political atmosphere of Nazi Germany. Nazi ideology considered the Jews to be subhuman; by breaking from the abusive crowd and publicly offering the elderly Jew a bit of food, Hans treats the man as a human being.