Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray


Ruta Sepetys

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Between Shades of Gray: Chapter 84 Summary & Analysis

The storm calms a day later, and Jonas is so ill he can barely speak. Mrs. Rimas says they need to go work to receive rations. Suddenly, the door opens and a man in civilian clothing enters. He asks if there are sick people in the hut. Mrs. Rimas cries out that they need help. The man sees Janina and Jonas and is shocked at the state they are in. He demands fish from an NKVD officer. The bald man agrees to help prepare food as long as Janina and Jonas are the first ones helped. The man—a doctor—says that he is an inspection officer, who could report to the tribunal the horrors in the camps. He tells Lina his name is Dr. Samodurov, and he shakes her hand. Lina is shocked by this show of respect. The doctor gives them food, orders supplies for them, and stays for ten days. Lina gives him letters for Andrius, and the doctor expresses his doubt that Kostas is actually dead—he theorizes there is a chance Ivanov was lying. When Lina asks how the doctor knew to come to the camp, all he replies is “Nikolai Kretzsky.”
Luckily, a miracle does arrive—in the form of Dr. Samodurov. At the last hour, Kretszky defects from the camp and somehow informs those with influence of the horrors happening in the camps. It appears that even the Soviet officials did not intend the camps to be this bad—most of the day-to-day evil has been passed along only by the NKVD guards. The doctor nurses Jonas and Janina back to life, and even gives Lina hope that her father is still alive. The deportees are not completely saved from their fate, but at least people who have some kind of respect for them have seen the squalor they have been put into, and they have much more hope that they can survive and one day return to their normal lives.
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