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Paul and Kropp share a room in a Catholic Hospital. Though the hospitals are known for their good treatment and food, Paul and Kropp are not examined because the hospital is so crowded. In the morning, the sisters' prayers in the hallway wake them through the open door. They patients yell at them to close the door, and only when Paul throws a bottle into the hallway do they. The men, and especially Paul, avoid punishment, as one of the patients with a "shooting license"--a certificate that says he is periodically not responsible for his actions--takes credit for the thrown bottle.
One of the wounded men in Paul's room thinks he is hemorrhaging, but the night sister does not come when they call for her. Paul finally rings the bell again and she comes, but the damage is done, and the man is soon taken away to the "Dying Room," where dying men are placed. Paul watches more men being taken away to the Dying Room, sometimes under the pretense of their going somewhere else. Paul is operated on and learns that his bones will not fuse. Two wounded soldiers, who also have flat feet, arrive, but a wise fellow patient warns them not to undergo an operation for their feet; they will be crippled for life. Nevertheless, the surgeon bullies them into having the surgery. Kropp's leg is amputated at the thigh. He rarely speaks now, once mentioning he will shoot himself. More men die, although one man returns from the Dying Room, an unprecedented event. Paul is given crutches and he hobbles around the hospital, observing the particular wounds the patients have. He reflects on the number of wounded in the war, and on of the "abyss of sorrow" war has created for his generation. He wonders what will happen to them all after the war.
The oldest man in the room, Lewandowski, has recently recovered from a ten-month-old abdominal wound. He has learned his wife, whom he has not seen for two years, will visit him from Poland. However, Lewandowski cannot get permission to go out with her when she comes to resume their marital relations. The men vow to help him, and when she arrives, they stall the sisters, stand guard, tend to the couple's infant, turn around, and make noises to cover the sounds of Lewandowski and his wife. After, his wife distributes sausage to the happy men, who now call her "Mother."
After a few weeks, Paul is able to move his leg again. Kropp's stump has healed, and he is almost ready for an artificial limb, though he is even more solemn than before. Paul goes on convalescent leave, and his mother, sicker than before, does not want to let him go again. Paul is recalled to his regiment.