Jutta, now with the last name Wette, teaches students in a school in Essen. She has a husband named Albert Wette, who was a young child during the war, and a child named Max, whose ears stick out, much as Werner’s did. One day, Jutta receives a visit from a huge, mean-looking man who reminds her of the bullies of her youth in the orphanage. The man—introducing himself as Volkheimer—informs her that her brother, Werner, died just outside of the town of Saint-Malo. Volkheimer explains, very gently, that he thinks Werner might have fallen in love at the end of his life.
It’s easy to read into Jutta’s marriage to Albert: Jutta chose to marry someone who was a little too young to absorb the full shock of World War II—someone who wasn’t personally complicit in the Holocaust or the war effort, and therefore someone who wouldn’t conflict with Jutta’s moral code. Max’s appearance also obviously alludes to Werner, as if Jutta keeps Werner alive in the form of her own child. Volkheimer’s hypothesis—that Werner fell in love—may be off the mark (describing a platonic connection in a romantic way), but it might also show Volkheimer as his usual perceptive self, voicing insights that not even Doerr had previously put into words.
Jutta tells Volkheimer that she needs a moment alone. She goes into the kitchen, and is surprised to see Volkheimer playing with Max, cheering him up. Albert approaches Jutta and tells her, “I love you.” Jutta says, “I love you too.”
It seems that Jutta has found peace in her life after the death of her brother—she’s found a man who loves her, and who isn’t haunted, as Werner was, by the war. On the other hand, this also means that Albert can’t ever truly understand Jutta, or empathize with the issues she must wrestle with.