Nelly's friend Lene is the embodiment of a moral absolute, which Petzold wisely puts on the sidelines, for an even more devastating impact. Lene searches for some form of justice, works to identify Nazis and collaborators, but the crosses she draws for the dead on those photographs will vastly outnumber those she can hold accountable. What is the consequence if you truly confront yourself with the enormity of what has happened? Or, to quote Adorno from Negative Dialectics
But it is not wrong to raise the less cultural question whether after Auschwitz you can go on living--especially whether one who escaped by accident, one who by rights should have been killed, may go on living. His mere survival calls for the coldness, the basic principle of bourgeois subjectivity, without which there could have been no Auschwitz; this is the drastic guilt of him who was spared.