City of Thieves Chapters 22-24 Summary & Analysis

David Benioff

City of Thieves

  • Expert-written summary and literary analysis
  • A modern alternative to Sparknotes and CliffsNotes
Access Full Summary

City of Thieves Chapters 22-24 Summary & Analysis

Chapter 22 Summary

As they wake the next morning, Lev is disappointed that Vika is no longer lying close to him. They file out of the shed on Nazi orders, before someone discovers a dead body – Markov’s denouncer has been murdered during the night by one of the other prisoners. Kolya pacifies the Nazi guard (“I told him the peasants hate the Jews even more than your people do” (Chapter 22, p.309)), but he realizes he has risked his safety by revealing himself as an educated man who speaks German.

After a meager breakfast, the prisoners are on the road again, marching south with their captors, the Gebirgsjäger company. It is now Wednesday: Lev and Kolya have one day left to find the eggs for the colonel. They discuss the likelihood of Vika being responsible for the death of Markov’s denouncer, and Kolya explains her talents as a killer: “She’s NKVD. They have agents in every partisan cell” (Chapter 22, p.312).

When a German convoy passes and Vika recognizes Abendroth, she readies herself to shoot, but Kolya has a better idea. Using his incredible charm, he persuades the Nazis to agree to a bet, in which the talented Lev will play chess with Abendroth. Certain death awaits if Lev loses the game, but if he wins they will be given their freedom – and a dozen eggs.

Chapter 23 Summary

Lev, Kolya and Vika are taken to the dreaded Abendroth for the chess game. Abendroth correctly guesses that Vika is a girl, Lev is a Jew and all three of them are really literate. Nonetheless, he is quite impressed that they managed to fool the other Nazi officers. Abendroth is intrigued by the motivation behind the bet, particularly the request for a dozen eggs; Kolya manages to convince him that they are simply desperate for a decent meal. Abendroth admits that he cannot free a soldier and a Jew, but agrees that he will free Vika if Lev wins.

A box of eggs is placed on the table and the game begins; Abendroth is a good player but Lev eventually approaches the winning move….

This is just a preview. The entire section has 926 words. Click below to download the full study guide for City of Thieves.