After a week, the train stops late at night. Mrs. Rimas says she saw a sign that said “Marakov.” The passengers are herded into a huge building, but when they get off the train, Elena collapses, and others quickly help her up. She sees Kretszky and greets him as “Nikolai.” The deportees lie on the ground until morning, and Jonas and Lina speculate why Elena referred to Kretszky as “Nikolai.” The NKVD feed them mushroom soup and bread, and they speculate that this is because they are going to be put to work. They are then brought to bathe at a bathhouse, but no one ogles the women since they have become emaciated. The deportees are then driven to the bank of a river and are about to be put on boats. Though the repetitive man thinks they are being sent to America, Lina is skeptical and doesn’t want to leave her father behind in prison. She thinks of Andrius’ face when he told her about the list, and is fairly certain they aren’t going anywhere better than the previous camp.
Once again, this scene is a chilling reminder of the Holocaust, a similar genocide carried out by the Nazis against Jews, homosexuals, Romani people, and other minorities of Nazi-controlled territories in Europe. While this scene might have been a precursor to death by gas chamber in a Holocaust novel, the fact that Lina and the other deportees are bathed and fed means that the NKVD want to keep them alive for further back-breaking labor and torture somewhere even bleaker and more remote than the previous camp. Lina’s desperate devotion to finding her father and Andrius again is evidenced by her wish that she not be taken to America, despite the fact that it would be a welcome respite from the harsh Siberian tundra.