Life and Fate Read Along, Part 3 Chapter 48

Life and Fate Read Along, Part 3 Chapter 48
Photo by Hal Gatewood / Unsplash

This post, covering Part 3, Chapter 48 is part of The Slavic Literature Pod’s chapter a day read along of Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate. Learn more about our project here.

In today’s chapter, German prisoners are clearing out the Russian corpses from the cellar of a building that previously functioned as the Gestapo headquarters.

Most of the prisoners seem indifferent as they go about their task. The dead bodies are actually preferable to the alive ones, as “The Russians standing in silence by the door looked so hostile that the prisoners felt relieved to go back down again into the dark cellar. They stayed there as long as they could, preferring the stench and darkness to the fresh air and daylight,” (p. 804). In many ways, these prisoners have more in common with the dead soldiers than the alive citizens.