77 pages 2 hours read

Alan Gratz

Prisoner B-3087

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2013

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Chapters 21-25Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 7: “Death March 1945”-Part 10: “Buchenwald Concentration Camp 1945”

Chapter 21 Summary

Yanek and the other prisoners are informed by the Nazi guards that they will be walking to a new camp. Yanek thinks their move is due to the bombings that are growing closer to camp. The prisoners are given “a half a loaf of bread, and told […] it was to last us the whole trip” (167).

The death march is more difficult than many of the camps. The prisoners are forced to walk all day in the freezing winter weather. Many people don’t have proper shoes, or any shoes at all, and they can’t walk. If a prisoner can’t walk or falls behind, the Nazi guards shoot them. Without water, Yanek drinks the snow. At night the prisoners huddle together in piles to stay warm.

Chapter 22 Summary

Yanek is walking beside a boy who reminds him of Fred. He realizes this boy won’t last much longer on the walk because he’s too weak and emaciated to keep pace. He takes the boy under his arm and helps him walk. He realizes that if “we shared the load, we would all make it, even this nameless boy” (176). He asks the other prisoners to help him, but most ignore him.