In the days following his visit to the outside of Etienne’s house, Werner can’t stop thinking of the blind girl with the cane. He wonders if she’s related to the man who broadcast when Werner was a child in the orphanage. Werner senses that his secret will be revealed soon: the colonel will discover that Werner is lying about the broadcasts.
As readers, we know that time is running out for Werner, because soon the Allies will invade France. But Werner, ironically, is concerned with time running out in a different sense—he’s afraid he’ll be found out by the colonel. His own superiors are his enemies now, not the French or the Americans.
One day, a messenger tells Volkheimer that the army needs two more Germans to come to the front. Volkheimer sends Neumann One and Neumann Two—Werner needs to stay and operate the radio. The Neumanns are terrified of being sent to fight on the front lines, but Volkheimer murmurs, “none of us will avoid it.”
With his usual stoicism, Volkheimer makes it clear that he knows the war is ending, and the Nazis are going to lose. Interestingly, Volkheimer is far more realistic about the war than Werner is: Werner is concerned about being punished by the colonel, but Volkheimer is concerned about being killed by the Allies.