The death toll rises. Jonas keeps track of the number of deceased children with markings on the floor of the train. The passengers keep track of the cities they pass, and believe they are heading south. Lina is extremely uncomfortable due to lice and the inability to move or wash. She passes the time by drawing images on the handkerchief—pictures that her father would be able to recognize as done by her hand. An older man notices her drawing, and she tells him her plan to pass it along to her father. He agrees to help pass it along so that it may reach Kostas.
Jonas, who has had very little contact with the idea of death, is obsessed with counting the number of dead children. These children could be his friends, or if conditions worsen, he could be one of them. Lina’s only escape, meanwhile, is drawing. The older man recognizes Lina’s need to contact her father, and Lina must trust a total stranger to chance contact with Kostas.
After eight days of rolling along, the train stops opposite another train, this one full of men. Elena speaks to them in Russian, and learns that they are soldiers—the USSR is at war with Germany. Germany has invaded Lithuania, news that boosts the morale of the passengers. People sing and hug. Ona is quiet—her baby, unable to eat, has died.
The deportees don’t know what the war with Germany means, but they are heartened by any chance that Stalin will no longer rule their country. They hope that the Germans will put an end to their suffering—but of course, they have no idea that the Germans are carrying out a genocide of their own in the form of the Holocaust.