Rudy Steiner, the runner, the pig boy, the boy who paints himself black. Rudy is the ideal person, based on Hitler’s ideals, blonde, athletic, smart, he is the poster boy of ideal arian race. The only problem was, his mind was not ideal, he idolized Jessie Owens, a black runner who won 4 gold medals in the Olympics, going so far as to paint himself black with charcoal to re-enact the Molching race.
We see Rudy, stick up to Hitler’s Ideals time and time again, because in his eyes, appearance does not make someone who they are, rather, ability does.
However, unfortunately Rudy’s desire for success and recognition become a danger to him and his family. We see this when he wins many races in his hitler youth athletics. He is noticed by the Nazis and is selected for a special elite youths school. His parents then decide that his father would go to war, in an exchange to spare Rudy from this. This event will give Rudy a view of how the Nazi party works, taking one thing for another constantly, never accepting of both.
Rudy becomes significant because of his both ideal and opposite characters for the Nazi party. He represents so perfectly the ideal people that Nazi Germany wants, however he is in complete opposition, as proven when he hands out bread to Jewish prisoners. He is important because he shows us what Hitler wants, but also shows us, that Hitler can’t have him.