Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray


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Between Shades of Gray: Chapter 71 Summary & Analysis

The day after they finish the jurta, Janina sees a ship on the horizon flying an American flag. At first the deportees are excited that they might be saved, but they quickly realizes that the NKVD will just hide them—the Americans are helping the Soviets. The Americans bring food supplies, but only for the NKVD. The older man reads the English words on the packages—delicious piles of food that make Lina’s mouth water—as the deportees are forced to carry the supplies to the NKVD barracks. Elena asks the man to stop translating the words, since she can’t bear to know what she’s carrying. The man replies that he wants to know what’s there, in case the opportunity to steal presents itself. Jonas notices that Elena is talking to Kretszky.
This scene unfortunately reinforces what the bald man has theorized all along—that the Americans are in fact working with the Soviets, and no one knows about the atrocities they are committing. Salt is further poured into the wounds of the deportees when they must carry huge packages from the Americans, filled with delicious food. Not only do the Americans not know about the deportees, they are actively providing support to their torturers. The world may know about Hitler’s atrocities, but the plight of these deportees remained hidden for decades.
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