Summary and Analysis PART FIVE: January 1941 “Lapidary” to “You Have Other Friends”



Von Rumpel realizes that the diamond the museum gave him is only a fake. He figures out who created it and interrogates the man to determine how many fakes have been made.

Marie-Laure receives a letter from her father, who writes that he is in Germany and is being treated well. She and Madame Manec continue to go to the beach every day, and soon Marie-Laure learns the way without needing guidance. One day, Madame Manec suggests to a group of old women that they begin resisting German rule.

Werner learns from Volkheimer that the school’s leaders bring a prisoner to be killed by the cadets each year as part of the cadets’ training. Hauptmann, Volkheimer, and Werner begin going out at night to put the math they have developed into practice, using trigonometry to locate radio transmitters in field tests. Singled out as the weakest runner, Frederick continues to be bullied and beaten; Werner suggests that Frederick go home, and Frederick interprets this as a betrayal.


The conversation between Madame Manec and the other French women about the German occupation reveals the power that ordinary citizens have to support or undermine an oppressive regime. As Madame Manec points out to the others, “We’re the ones who make their world run.” By simply continuing to do their work, these women have supported the Nazi regime. However, Madame Manec suggests, if they are willing to risk the danger, they have power to take action against the Germans instead of being helpless tools. Given their current place in the world, if they want to exercise their personal rights, they must be willing to risk everything.

Werner continues to wrestle with ethics. When he and Hauptmann find Volkheimer’s transmitter during their first field test, Werner momentarily believes that Hauptmann is going to kill Volkheimer. This notion isn’t too far from the truth given as Volkheimer would be killed if he were an enemy in this situation. Volkheimer and Werner joke together about “pure math,” a concept that is becoming less convincing as the math’s physical application becomes more evident. Werner comes to realize that he is torn between two notions of what is ethical: doing what people think is “good” behavior versus feeling that he is “betraying something.”

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