In the Cat and Mouse story, the memory of Pilenz towards his friend Mahlke portrays how Mahlke becomes “eternal mouse” by being victim of the oppressors (school, society, army and Pilenz) or “eternal cat”.
Mahlke is typical young boy who tends to stand out in a peculiar way due to his odd looks (large Adam’s apple), collection of odd objects, and contrasting religious devotion despite have no faith in God or Christ. He ends up being toyed by his peers, including Pilenz, and trifled by the adults like a mouse toyed by a cat. Another similarity is that he also tends to hide inside the radio room inside the minesweeper that serve as his storage/sanctuary or as “mouse hole”. At the end, after braving out to prove one’s self by earning the Iron Cross (medal) in the army, like a mouse out in open, he was scorned by the headmaster Klohse and deprived by Pilenz (cats) that lead him to become a fugitive scurrying back to his mouse hole (radio room).