The available knowledge of pneumonia is reflected in Inglin’s symptomatology—and it also provides the opportunity for metaphorical interpretation. Distorted perception, individual resistance, unforeseeable consequences and brown phlegm—this disease qualifies as an allegory of National Socialism. The National Socialist emotive rhetoric can be understood both in an infectological sense and psychopharmacologically. The former frontline soldier came very close to adopting a fascist attitude, but was able to avoid contracting a chronic disease. The traveler’s most astute observations, however, but rather himself. His journey puts him to a test which begins the very moment he crosses the border. In fact, according to the logic of incubation, Inglin’s infection must have occurred before reaching the border, in order for it to become virulent during the journey. The cynical logic posits Adolf Hitler as the supreme doctor of a diseased nation, who prescribes a ruthless chemotherapy.