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Free Study Guide-Summer Of My German Soldier by Bette Greene-Book Notes
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CHAPTER 3

Summary

Patty observes as a truckload of the German soldiers descend into her father’s store. The POWs had each earned two dollars and were looking to spend it in the Bergen’s store. Patty notices Reiker, who is the only POW who can speak English; he was able to translate between the soldiers and Harry. Patty sees Reiker admiring the merchandise at the stationary counter, and decides to approach him to inquire if he needs help. The two converse about the “pocket pencil sharpener” (43) that he wants to buy, and also where he learned to speak English. Their conversation is interrupted by the Army men instructing the POW’s to return to the truck. Before Anton leaves, he purchases a large and gaudy pin. Patty talks with God and asks him if he may keep Anton safe and if they may, one day, become friends.


Notes

Anton is introduced, in this chapter, and it seems inevitable that he and Patty will be reacquainted. Patty is in awe of Anton’s ability to speak English and gains the courage to talk with him. This is the first time where Patty seems concerned about her looks. While she is debating whether or not to talk to Anton she states, “I wanted to, but I couldn’t. I didn’t even have a comb. Why, in God’s name, didn’t I carry a purse with a fresh handkerchief and a comb like Edna Louise?” (42). Patty then runs her fingers through her hair and pats it into place. We later learn that Edna Louise is a prim and proper, elegant girl with who Patty is acquainted. Since Patty is suddenly nervous about her looks, which according to her mother she never is, we know that she likes Anton.

While talking with Anton, Patty learns that his mother was born in Manchester, England, and his father was educated in London. They have since moved to Germany where his father is a professor. Before the war, Anton was a private in the German Army, a cotton picker and a medical student.

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