Chapter 18 Summary

The sky is a brilliant blue and the birds are singing merrily, which creates a chillingly incongruous backdrop to roll call the next morning. The Commandant is in attendance, and six men in chains are lined up before him. One of them is Shmuel and another is the violinist in the klezmer band; all the men have been beaten badly, but Hannah notes immediately that Yitzchak is not among them.

The Commandant announces to the assembly that the six men have tried to escape, and he emphasizes the foolishness of their undertaking: the camp is located in a desolate area, and they would have had nowhere to go. The Commandant laments that he has been too lenient on the prisoners. He has been told repeatedly that he should have...

(The entire section is 690 words.)