Beneath a Scarlet Sky


Mark Sullivan

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Beneath a Scarlet Sky: Chapter 15 Summary & Analysis

Albert and Greta tell Pino that he cannot tell anyone he is a spy, even his own parents. Doing so would put everyone in danger. They also tell him that Tullio is alive, but he’s been beaten by the Nazis and is being held in prison. The next day, Pino makes his way to Leyers’s flat and knocks on the door. The door opens and Pino is shocked to see Anna on the other side. At first, Anna doesn’t recognize Pino, so he reminds her of his identity. Anna takes Pino into the flat and introduces him to Dolly Stottlemeyer, Leyers’s mistress. A moment later, Leyers arrives and tells Pino to take his things to the car.
Tullio’s situation reflects what could happen to Pino if he lets anyone know that he is a spy. Once again, Pino is risking his life, but he is doing so for a just cause. This section also reintroduces Anna, whom Pino hasn’t seen since his foiled date at the beginning of the novel, and who will be a key character moving forward.
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Pino does as he is told, but his mind is still reeling from reuniting with Anna. While waiting for Leyers, Pino considers going through the general’s suitcase, but decides against it. Leyers asks Pino to drive him to a soccer stadium, which he does. When they arrive, Leyers tells Pino to stay near the car and then leaves. However, Pino does not do what he is told. He moves to a vantage point where he can see what Leyers is doing. From afar, Pino watches as Leyers sorts a group of gray men. After he is finished, Leyers heads back to the car, and Pino rushes to meet him there so he is not caught.
Immediately, Pino puts himself in danger and acts without much caution. Although he immediately gets results, he also nearly gets caught. Once again, the gray men appear and it is clear that they serve the Nazis, though they don’t appear to do so willingly. Furthermore, Leyers has power over what happens to the gray men, as is evidenced by the scene Pino witnesses.
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The next stop of the day is a tunnel, also occupied by laboring gray men. Leyers brings Pino into the tunnel with him, and Pino sees that it is full of ammunition. Leyers looks through the supplies and asks Pino to take notes. Then, he sends Pino away while he talks to a colonel. Pino looks around at the gray men and is shocked by what he sees. They are completely emaciated, and no one is giving them water. Pino decides to give water to them himself. When he asks one of the men who they are, the man responds, “We’re slaves. Every last one of us.”
Here, Pino gets his first close-up look at the gray men and learns the reality of their situation. They have been enslaved, taken by the Nazis and harnessed by Organization Todt to perform grueling manual labor. Indeed, although the name is Pino’s invention, the gray men are more or less historically accurate figures. On top of the now well-documented enslavement of Jewish people in labor camps, the Nazis also enslaved other non-Germans to carry out manual labor on various fronts of the war.
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