Jutta opens her eyes but doesn’t look at him. “Don’t tell lies. Lie to yourself, Werner, but don’t lie to me.”

This quotation occurs in Part 3, as Werner says goodbye to Jutta before departing for the school at Schulpforta. Jutta accurately suspects that in order to fit in at the school, Werner will adopt the philosophies of the Nazi party and contribute to the German war effort. She fears that her brother’s ambitions and desire to please those in positions of authority will lead him to deviate from his own moral principles. Jutta’s comment shows how intelligent and shrewd she is. Even though she is only a young girl, and she would be expected to feel loyal toward Germany because it is her home country, Jutta is disgusted by what she hears about the Nazi party. She thinks for herself, and her exposure to the wider world through what she learns from listening to radio broadcasts makes her informed and insightful. Jutta has a clear moral perspective, and she does not have the same incentives to compromise her principles, such as admission to a prestigious school, that Werner has.

Jutta’s comment also demonstrates that she knows her brother very well and can accurately predict his major moral failings. Werner is, at heart, a good person who is instinctively disgusted by cruelty and violence, as Marie-Laure will understand later in the novel. However, he is also ambitious and aware of the privileges which can come from conforming to the wills of individuals who hold power. Because it soothes Werner’s conscience to avoid fully acknowledging the truth about the Nazi party and the war efforts he contributes to, Werner often turns a blind eye to what is happening around him. He actively tries to convince himself that attending the state school will simply help him to advance his scientific ambitions. In this way, Werner develops a willful blindness to the truth. Unlike Marie-Laure, who is blind but sees the realities of the world, Werner creates a moral blindness that separates him from his goodness. Jutta’s comment thus foreshadows what will happen once Werner goes away to school: he will focus only on the positive parts of his experience when he writes to Jutta and he will conceal the brutality that he witnesses. This behavior will continue until the horror of the child’s murder, which finally forces Werner to face the horrors he has tacitly endorsed.