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When Hitler stole pink rabbit – setting

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The novel is set in Germany from 1933, before the Second World War. Anna and her family live in a large house with a maid and a cook. Set in a jovial area of Berlin, the mood from the children in the novel is cheerful and light-hearted. A snow-filled winter has just passed, but it is still cold enough to go tobogganing. The adults’ mood, however, contrasts strongly. The elections draw near and it appears that Adolf Hitler will be a very strong contender. This is bad news for the Jews. They, including Anna’s family, are anxious and concerned, so they decide to move to Switzerland. They stay at an inn in the mountains.

Anna loves it here, she feels comfortable and at home because they speak her native language. She soon finds, however, that the school-life is much different from that in Germany: the boys and girls have separate school; the boys do not play with the girls and throwing things at someone is a sign of affection. But soon Anna’s father receives a job offer and they decide to move yet again to France. In Paris, Anna is not so comfortable: she does not understand the language; she is falling behind in school and the traditions and lifestyles are very different to that in Germany or even Switzerland.

But Anna slowly begins to fit in and adjust to France and its ways, until she must move again to England. In studying these characters, I find it very significant to realise how Hitler’s ascent into authority from 1930 onwards affected their lives and forced them to live in Berlin, Switzerland, France and England. In Berlin, Anna and her family were content of hearing the odd mention of him up until the elections when he took over. In Switzerland, Anna and her family felt at home but suffered financially: it is here Anna comes across as spoilt.

Anna and Max become a little more aware of Hitler and his beliefs when a Nazis mother forbids her children from playing with them because of their Jewish background. Another example of this is when Anna finds out Hitler is giving a reward for the capture of her father-dead or alive. Again this matures Anna and Max and their knowledge of Hitler. The hardest period of Anna’s travels is when she moves to France. The lifestyle she will live in France is very different from the one she is used to. She must adapt to the lifestyle and language, which she finds difficult and emotionally straining.

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit” by Judith Kerr is set at the beginning of Adolf Hitler’s rise to power. It begins with Hitler being a candidate in the German elections. We see the escalation of Hitler’s Germany from a bit of a distance and the struggles of a displaced family trying to stay out of Hitler’s reach due to Anna’s father’s well-known Jewish writings. Hitler is using all manner of persuasion to win. He is going to stop the Jews, whatever that means. Of course, in 1933 no one ever imagined in their wildest dreams that he might actually try to murder them all, so moving on was the right decision.

When Hitler sweeps to power, one of his first acts is to confiscate all the family’s property in Berlin. And so, they are refugees in Switzerland, with no way back home, even if they wanted it, and they would not want it. There is a moment of tension when they come to the border and passports get checked, since Anna’s father is now a national criminal, but all goes well and they make it just fine. They meet Anna’s father and the next big problem is how to make a living, as papers are reluctant to print anti-Hitler articles anymore.

This made the novel so much more exiting for me because I enjoyed reading about how Anna and her family reacted, got affected and pulled through. Hitler and his rise to power severely affects the characters in the novel. The best example of this is Anna’s uncle. Onkel Julius was a Zoologist who opted to stay in Berlin as many Jews did, thinking that the insanity would not touch them. But as Hitler’s power grew, the Jews’ dwindled. Eventually Onkel Julius’ pass to the zoo was revoked and he died soon after, apparently of a broken heart due to lack of purpose.

Anna and her family are also deeply affected, although it could surprisingly be for the better. The rise of Hitler and his actions should wound the family, but they turn this around and use it to build to their relationship allowing them to see just how important family is. The setting of the novel changes dramatically as well. The atmosphere becomes more tense and overwrought. Germans are no longer happy and content – they are filled with hate and fear, jobs become scarce and Jews try and fail to flee from Hitler.

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