Back at the movie house, Florian worries that he misjudged Alfred, and that the soldier will not return to him. Florian thinks of Dr. Lange, whom he trusted, although Florian’s father initially saw through him and warned Florian against his mentor.
Florian is haunted by his initial misjudgment of Dr. Lange, which has made him hesitant to trust or open himself to anyone since.
Florian remembers one day last July, when a Polish painting arrived on a truck. Florian recognized the painting as one that belonged to Poland. The Nazis had stolen it. A few days later Florian found his unopened letters in Dr. Lange’s drawer. This is when he realized “Koch and Lange weren’t saving the treasures of Europe. They were stealing them. And, unknowingly, I had been helping.” The next day Florian traveled home to Tilsit to ask Florian’s father for advice. When he arrived, a neighbor informed him his father had been killed.
Florian’s memories of Dr. Lange and his father transport him back in time. He reveals for the first time that his revelation regarding Dr. Lange’s untrustworthiness and the death of his father happened almost simultaneously, making him feel even guiltier that he did not listen to his father when he was alive.