Literature / When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit (known as Als Hitler das rosa Kaninchen stahl in Germany) is the semi-autobiographical story of Judith Kerr whose family fled from Hitler in 1933 via Switzerland and France to Britain. She was nine years old, for the record.

The names in the story were changed: Judith is named Anna in the novel, her brother Michael became Max, and so on.


  • Black Comedy: When asked to write a more creative story in French (see Long List below), Max replaces the word "birthday" with "funeral", and he finishes the story with: "So at the end there were a lot more funerals."
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Max, or at least his mother says he is.
  • Don't be stereotypical: Anna's father advises the kids when in Switzerland to be not like the nazis claim Jews were. I.e. being more honest than average people because the nazis claim Jews were liars, etc.
  • Ear Trumpet: Anna's aunt in Paris uses one.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: The title. Said rabbit was Anna's favorite toy for a long time, but she decides to leave it in Germany when fleeing on a whim, and later regrets it. The two kids imagine Hitler playing with their toys now.
  • Literal-Minded: When Anna hears that the nazis put a price on her father's head, she has a nightmare involving coins falling on his head, burying him.
  • Long List: When they have to write a story in French, which they barely know yet, Max writes a text like this: "Once a boy had his birthday. Many guests came. They had a big feast. They ate [Long List]. At the end, they all exploded."
  • May–December Romance: Anna's father (critic Alfred Kerr) and mother
  • No Name Given: The parents. They're just "Papa" and "Mama".
  • Sequel: Two. The first one is set during World War II, the second one afterwards, after the death of her father.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Anna used to write her essays in school like this and expected her father to write like this too, only even more so. She was quite surprised when she found that he wrote short sentences with everyday words - but composed in a way that impressed everyone.