Chapter 4-Chapter 6

Chapter Four

Eliezer was told that Buna was a “better” camp. Eliezer and his father were assigned to labor in a warehouse of electrical materials, where they had to count and sort bolts, bulbs, and other various small electrical parts into groups.

Conditions were better here; the commandos were somewhat nicer, and they were given a blanket, washbowl, and bar of soap. Nonetheless, there were still commandos such as Idek, the Kapo, who arbitrarily beat people and beat Eliezer and his father, too. Eliezer was beaten for witnessing the kapo copulate with a young girl.

Eliezer, too, was often approached by pseudo-dentists for the gold crown in his teeth, and he allowed one to extract it for some extra ration of food.

There were other monstrosities. Once during an all clear signal, a man was shot while he was crawling toward a cauldron of soup; another day, a young boy from Warsaw was publicly hung, with the entire camp forced to file past the boy and stare “at his extinguished eyes, the tongue hanging from his gaping mouth” (63).

Another time, another child was hung and, here again, there was Eliezer’s refrain:

“For God’s sake where is God?” and the famous answer:

“Where He is? This is where—hanging here from this gallows . . .” (65)

Chapter 5

On Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, approximately ten thousand worshipers pray in the barracks, and Wiesel is unable to join them, feeling angry at God and considering this new God to be powerless and vindictive. He found himself unable to believe in religion or God. On Yom Kippur, too, he refused to fast for the same reason: God, for him, no longer existed.

The same day, there was a selection of the strong and the weak, with the weak and the elderly being sent to the crematorium. Eliezer and his father were saved, although Eliezer’s father was singled out for...

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Essays About Night