The Book Thief

How does Hans channel his guilt into helping others?

Anything is fine!

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Hans feels guilty about Erik's death because Erik saved Hans life. During that time, Hans was a young person who didn't have his own family yet while Erik had a wife and a son. Hans is able to channel his guilt by trying to save others. He promises Erik's wife that he would do anything to help out and thus he helps Max hide from the Nazis. He also helps Liesel learn how to read even though he is not the great of a reader himself. He helps out a miserable Jew in the "parade" by giving the Jew some stale bread.

Max too feels guilt. He is constantly asking for Hans and Rosa's forgiveness for putting their lives in danger. His will to survive Nazi Germany leads him to leave his family without much of a goodbye. He feels horrible for not looking back at his family for the last time before he left and he also feels shame for not keeping them safe as well.

I took this excerpt from another site. It is better than mine would have been; I read the book so long ago. I'll include the source link below.