Chronology

Chronology of all events

Sometimes you have to look for them deeply, but you can find many details about time in The Reader by Bernhard Schlink. We made a table that covers all specifications about time and the special action of Hanna and Michael.

Here, you will find all notable points of the plot together with the corresponding time. You can also use this table to practice the storyline before an exam.

Chronology of "The Reader"

TimeHannaMichaelBoth
1922Born on 21st October in Hermanstadt
1939Works at Siemens in Berlin
1943Concentration camp guard at "SS" in AuschwitzBorn
1944Until spring in Auschwitz, from winter at a camp near Krakow
1945Until the end of war in Kassel
1950Moves to Michael's town, becomes streetcar conductress.
1958, NovemberBathes Michael and cleans the street with him.Vomits on the street in front of Hanna's house.
1958, DecemberHepatitis until February.
1959, FebruaryVisits Hanna to thank her. They talk while Hanna was ironing. Michael has to go home, Hanna wants go along with him and changes clothes. Michael watches her through a crack in the door. When she realizes it, he runs away.
1959, Beginning of March

Arrives late, sends Michael to fetch coal.
Michael takes a bath, Hanna dries him with a towel. She was also naked and drops the towel.
Dreams of Hanna.
Visits Hanna, she was not at home, fetches coal. Gets dirty and takes a bath.





They have sex and meet daily.
1959, MarchMichael goes to school again, he skippes the last class to meet with Hanna.

Reads to Hanna.



First conflict, Hanna finds out Michael skipped classes.
1959, April
Hanna does not pay attention to Michael because he does not come up to her. She feels bad about it. Hanna thinks Michael pretends like he doesn't know her.
Takes a ride on Hannas streetcar in an empty wagon.




Refuses to take the guilt and goes away. Arrives half an hour later again and acts like it is his fault.
Takes the fault in all other conflicts from now.
1959, after Easter


Hanna wakes up and beats Michael with a belt.
Hanna sleeps, Michael goes out to get breakfast as surprise. Writes Hanna a note.Four day trip by bike.




Note was missing.
1959, End of holidaysHanna asks Michael, which animal could be her.





Hanna goes to the swimming pool.





Hanna moves away without telling Michael.
Michael is in a new class.



Says horse, because of her twitching calves.

Spends his afternoons with his mates in the swimming pool. Always leaves first to meet Hanna.

Michael does not come up to her.


Michael feels guilty and misses her.
Go to the theatre.
1962Begins his law study.
1965Court hearing: Hanna receives a life sentence.Michael joins the trial.
1966Michael marries Gertrude, they have a daughter.
1971Michael becomes divorced and workes as a legal historian.
1973Hanna learns to read by listening to tapes. She reads books about concentration camps.
Michael records tapes for Hanna.
1983Hanna's clemency appeal is approved. She will be allowed to leave the jail.


Hanna commits suicide.
Michael gets Hanna a flat and a job.

He visits the daughter, who survived in the burning church, in New York,.

Visits Hanna's grave.
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