Alfred writes another letter to Hannelore. He tells her the temperature is below freezing outside. He tells her about the sacrifices every German must make, and the sacrifices he himself has made—like taking a vapor bath to strengthen his lungs before he was deployed. Alfred writes that he will be happy to leave East Prussia, which he finds strange. He writes about members of the Prussian nobility who would rather stay in their homes and kill themselves when the Russians approached than leave their lands.
Alfred rarely demonstrates empathy for anyone else, inside or outside of his fantasies. In contrast to Joana, Florian, and the Poet, who understood that the Prussian nobility would rather die than leave their homes and legacies behind, Alfred cannot imagine being so committed to anything outside of oneself.