Rudy Steiner
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Rudy Steiner

The Book Thief

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rating 9.3/10 (9 users)
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About Him

Grew Up... in Nazi Germany. Yet despite the atmosphere of violence pervading Germany, Rudy never succumbs to the prejudice around him. Even in midst of war, he'd rather be playing with his friends or stealing apples.

Living... in Molching, Germany. Living on a street that literally means "heaven street," Rudy and his parents are seemingly sheltered from the turmoil racking the world outside their small town. But war has a way of spreading, and even Himmel Street may not be safe from Hitler's plans for Germany. 

Profession... student and athlete. Though not a bad student, Rudy's a lot better at the latter than the former: ever since childhood, he's been good at sports. Rudy's true passion, however, is running, and his idol is Olympic runner Jesse Owens. Despite Owen being African-American, Rudy is star-struck, telling his father, "I just wish I was like Jesse Owens, Papa."

Interests... running, soccer, and hanging out with his best friend, Liesel Meminger. Lately, Rudy and Liesel's adventures have involved a lot of stealing: books for Liesel and food for Rudy, who can't seem to stop being hungry. 

Relationship Status... single. Rudy has his eyes on Liesel, but she's adamant on keeping their relationship platonic. Still, he's confident she'll eventually cave in: "One day, Liesel, you'll be dying to kiss me."

Challenge... dealing with the violence creeping into Molching. Blue-eyed and blonde, Rudy doesn't have much to fear from the Nazis, but that doesn't mean he's immune to the suffering around him. The Nazis might want Rudy for his skills as an athlete, but with books being burnt and Jewish prisoners paraded through the streets, he has little desire to join them.

Personality... daring, carefree, and kind. With his love for adventure and reckless schemes, Rudy can come off as brash and thoughtless – and in many ways, he is. But beneath his boyish bravado, Rudy is just as capable of being compassionate and caring. Rudy's conscience, however, is a dangerous thing to have in Nazi Germany, especially when it's coupled with Rudy's tendency for reckless courage.

Rudy Steiner's popularity ranking on CharacTour is #1461 out of 5,600+ characters. See our top-ranked characters and read their profiles.

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