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The FBI has to take Patty away for a trial because she was housing a prisoner of war. Patty’s father says that he wants her taken to Memphis because he knows a lawyer there who he wants to handle the case.
Patty and her father have a fight and, as usual her father yells violently at her. Ruth becomes upset that Patty is getting scolded and defends her. Mr. Bergen becomes furious at Ruth’s interjections and fires her.
Patty tells her father that Anton treated her better than he does; this was the root of the fight between the two. Mr. Bergen is furious that Patty compared him to a Nazi. The irony of this situation is that Anton, the actual Nazi, is a better person than Mr. Bergen. This coincides with one of the themes of this story: Patty sees good, in good people; Ruth and Anton were her closest friends. During this time period, it would have been unheard of for a Caucasian person, such as Patty, to befriend a German and an African American.
Patty’s father represents the racism of society during this time also. He does not treat Ruth like a human being and he refuses to understand that a Nazi could be a good person.