1943 -- the last large-scale German offensive assault on the eastern front begins at Kursk. The military situation really begins to deteriorate for the Germans in the Soviet Union.
Maria gave birth to a son by Otto, named Hermann, unbeknownst to the former chief engineer. Both of Maria's older sons are in the German armed forces. Anton works with the film camera unit in the Soviet Union. Son Ernst has become an air cadet learning to fly fighter planes.
Out of nowhere, Martha, the pregnant girlfriend of Anton, suddenly sows up at the Simon family home in Schabbach. Big-hearted Katharine of course takes her in. Martha and Maria becomes close friends. Later a special proxy marriage by phone takes place between Martha and Anton. In Russia, his film crew shoots his picture as the wedding by phone takes place.