Leyers’s behavior continues to get stranger. He works sporadically and starts drinking more than normal. However, he does tell Pino that he plans to move Dolly and Anna to Innsbruck where they will be safe. One day, Leyers asks Pino to drive him to see Cardinal Schuster. Inside the chancellery, Pino and Leyers find Schuster, who introduces them to Eugen Dollmann. Dollmann is the Führer’s translator and Schuster uses him to speak with Leyers. Schuster is concerned because he’s heard the Nazis want to utilize a scorched earth policy. Apparently, Leyers has heard the same thing, although he finds the policy abhorrent. Schuster asks Leyers if he can use his influence to make sure the Nazis don’t use such brutal tactics. Leyers promises to try. Leyers also warns Schuster that higher-ups in the Nazi regime may try to arrest him.
A scorched earth policy is where a retreating military force destroys everything in its path. It is largely a nihilistic act, but also a tactical one because it hinders the advance of enemy forces by destroying anything they might find useful. Once again, Leyers demonstrates that he is on the right side of the issue, but it is unclear whether he will find any success in convincing his fellow Nazis. He knows the level the Nazis are willing to sink to, which is why he wouldn’t be surprised if they attempted to arrest the Cardinal.
Next, Pino drives Leyers to the Fiat factory where they speak once again with Calabrese. Despite their previous interaction, Leyers acts kindly toward Calabrese. Leyers tells him that he appreciates the work he’s done for him and that he will personally make sure nothing happens to the factory in the days to come. This calms Calabrese, who was worried because of how often his factory has been sabotaged by partisans. After this interaction, Pino returns to his aunt and uncle’s shop. Albert and Greta tell him about the recent news out of Germany: the Russians arrived at Auschwitz and discovered what the Nazis have been doing in their labor camps.
Once again, it is unclear whether Leyers’s attitude toward Calabrese is genuine or if he is trying to make himself look good for when the war is over. He knows that he needs to find ways to save face now that the Allies uncovered the horrors of Auschwitz.
In February of 1945, Leyers and Pino drive near Monte Castello and watch the end of a siege that has lasted months. Leyers knows he’s lost and asks Pino to take him to Milan. Back in Milan, Pino learns that Albert was arrested. Pino’s father tries to get him to flee the country before something similar happens to him, but Pino rejects the idea. Soon afterwards, Pino and Leyers make one last trip to Mussolini’s villa. Mussolini talks to Leyers about Hitler’s secret bomb, which he plans to use to destroy the Allied forces. Leyers listens to Mussolini talk but doesn’t confirm or deny the bomb’s existence.
A lot of information is compressed into a short time as the war nears its end. Notably, this section contains the sole reference to the nuclear bomb found in the novel. Like the United States, Germany spent much of the war attempting to develop the atomic bomb, and they came dangerously close to succeeding. Mussolini, still in denial about the state of the war, thinks Hitler still can win using the nuclear bomb. It is unclear whether Leyers knows of the bomb’s existence, though it seems likely that he does.