Chapters 20-22 Summary
The children end up staying at the farm with Kurt Wolff and his wife for quite a while, primarily because the Burgomaster, who is in charge of the region, has been rounding up all suspected refugees and making them return to their home country. The children are careful to always stay out of sight when strangers are approaching and, at first, are able to avoid notice. One day, Jan asks about the photos of the two young men in the Wolffs’ living room. Frau Wolff tells him and the other children that the photos are of her and her husband’s children, both of whom died during the war. She tells Jan that although they were German soldiers, he would have liked them, especially Rudolf, because they both loved animals. The family dog, Ludwig, responds to Jan in the same way that he did to Rudolf. The next day, a passing car blows out a tire, and Edek, concerned that someone might be hurt, runs out to help. The man in the car is fine and Edek helps him to change the tire although he realizes that the man must be the Burgomaster. Since Edek speaks German, he is not too worried, but Jan and Bronia show up and Bronia speaks to Edek in Polish. Surprisingly, the Burgomaster appears not to notice and thanks them for their help before driving on down the road.
As Farmer Wolff is washing his face in the kitchen, the Burgomaster suddenly appears and begins to talk. Eventually, he tells the farmer that he knows there are refugees hiding on the farm. The following day is the last day for all refugees to be deported, and the Burgomaster says that the children must be sent back to Poland. Farmer Wolff tells him that the children are going to Switzerland because their parents are there and that they are not simply drifters. Although the Burgomaster is sympathetic, he says that there is nothing that...
(The entire section is 508 words.)