Volkheimer has just left Jutta’s house, leaving behind a duffel bag of Werner’s possessions. Jutta tries to avoid opening the bag, but she can’t concentrate on anything else. Eventually, she opens the duffel bag, and finds Werner’s notebook inside. She opens the notebook, and finds a list of questions that Werner wrote for himself as a young boy, such as, “Why does a flag flutter in the wind rather than stand straight out?”
We’re reminded of how innocent Werner used to be, and this is surely a heartbreaking moment for Jutta. But as Philip Roth once wrote, “The innocence was the crime.” By turning a blind eye to the atrocities of Germany, and by focusing on the “pure” science, Werner allowed great evils to occur, not recognizing them until it was almost too late.