Dehumanization: To treat as an animal, not as a human.
Beadle: Church Official
Shtibl: Small room.
Sighet: Elie's town in Northern Romania
Kabbalah: Holy Book
Talmud: Book of Jewish Law
Temple: Place of worship
Zohar: Jewish mystical text
Shavot: Jewish holiday
Gestapo: Secret Police
Zionism: Trying to secure a Jewish-only state (or country)
Edict: A law enforced by soldiers in power.
1. The Gestapo departed all foreign Jews first from Sighet. (Including Moishe.)
2. By cattle cars on trains the foreigners were taken to woods, dug-trenches for their own bodies, and shot. (Infants were used as target practice.)
3. Moishe escapes.
4. No one in Sighet believes Moishe. (End of 1942)
5. Spring 1944: Facism finds power.
6. Anti-Semitism (Anti-Jewish) violent rumors begin.
7. Officers (German) arrives and are stationed in Jewish homes.
8. Synagogues are closed by Germans.
9. Religious leaders arrested (Jewish).
10. Edicts begin.
11. Ghetto: enclosed neighborhood (barbed wire).
12. Ghetto "ruled by delusion" (p. 12)
13. The Hungarian police move Elie’s family and others into the “small ghetto” to await the next transports (trains away from home.)
14. Jewish families maintain optimism of their fate with denial. (Example: “bowl of half eaten soup” which was left behind. Example-2: other articles hastily left behind.
15. Loaded into the “transports” (aka. Train cars) 80 people/train car.
16. Train crosses border into Poland.
17. German police threaten people in train cars with their lives.
18. Mrs. Schächter’s dreams/visions: premonitions of “FIRE!” [Jews in denial calling her “crazy” and “thirsty.”] They bound and gagged her so not to feel despair.
19. Arrive at Auschwitz Death Camp.
20. Passengers see the crematoria/crematorium. (Ovens which kill people by burning them alive.)
21. Jews leave possessions and “disillusions” about fate behind on the trains.
22. Birkenau was the Work Camp where men (ages 18-40) would work for the Nazi’s.
23. “Men to the left, women to the right” (p.29) Elie loses his mother and sister to the crematorium or gas chambers.
24. S.S. officers take control of Jews from train car.
25. Stranger helps Elie and Elie’s father lie about their ages to keep them alive.
26. The infamous Dr. Mengele is spotted, he sorts the men. (Work Camp or Crematoria.)
27. Elie sees alive children thrown into pits of fire.
28. None of the Jewish prisoners (already there) cannot believe that the new prisoners didn’t KNOW about the death camps in 1944.
29. Elie’s father wishes Elie had died, rather than to have seen these horrors.
30. Elie contemplates suicide by running away rather than to see the people being murdered.
31. Jewish people recite the “death prayer.”
32. Elie is despairing and angry at God. (But continues to pray.)
33. Brought into barracks (like dorms.)
34. The men are “processed” (made naked, shaven, given uniforms recycled from dead men.)
35. Some men are “selected” to work for the Undercommando. (To work in the crematoria.)
36. (p.39) “Work or the crematorium.” [The gate of Auschwitz reads: Arbeit macht frei or “Work sets you free.”]
37. Elie watches his father be hit, but remains silent, and wonders how much he has changed in the short time here.
38. Young Polish man (in charge of Block 17) reveals the truth about Auschwitz with the new men, emphasizes that they must all help each other if they wish to survive. (p.41) These are “the first human words” Elie & dad hear.
39. The Schutzstaffel (S.S.) are the Hitler’s “protective squadron” or elite armed Police force.
40. Elie’s father finds his cousin, and Elie lies about cousin’s family to keep cousin optimistic.
41. The Blockälteste is the German “Block” leader. (Previously the young Polish man.)
42. p. 45-46: religious discussion. “God is testing us.”
43. (p.46) The men arrive at Buna. (A sub-camp of Auschwitz, later called Auschwitz III). 10,000 men moved through Buna, “often dying of arduous slave labor, starvation, savage mistreatment and selective executions…and taken to the Birkeneau camp gas chambers” (jewishvirtuallibrary.org)
44. The corrupt Dentist notes all men with gold teeth. (To be pulled and sold on the black market.) Elie has one.
45. A kapo is a prisoner assigned to supervise the others.
46. A Kommando is a unit or command group.
47. Dentist is hanged for corruption of stealing gold teeth. (Elie was smart to “delay” his tooth pulling by pretending to be sick.)
48. Elie loses his tooth later to a greedy man with a rusted spoon.
49. Runs into woman from factory many years later in Paris and learns that she was hiding her Judaism from Nazis to survive.
50. Elie stumbles on Idek (the maniac Kapo) copulating with a girl after having moved 100 men to do so. The embarrassed soldier lashes Elie more than 25 times to punish him.
51. During an alert (sirens) two soup cauldrons were left unattended. One prisoner dares to crawl to them, takes a sip and is shot by a guard. Planes are heard bombing the Buna factory. (p. 59)
52. appelplatz is a square where roll call is taken.
53. Lagerälteste: oldest prisoner leader.
54.A very young boy is hanged in front of the block for stealing during an air raid as an example. (p.62)
55. Another young “angel faced” boy/child is hung (well known for being sweet) is strangled to death by his hanging rope for a half hour before he dies. (p.65)
[“That night, the soup tasted of corpses” (p.65): meaning that there was no pleasure in anything (even food) anymore.
56. “Where is God?” ….”Hanging here from this gallows” (p.65) à Elie’s internal dialogues questioning where God is during this time/place/hell.
57. ELIE QUESTIONS GOD. (For all of pages 66-67.)
58. Elie renounces God (p. 68) and cuts ties to his faith.
59. “As I swallowed my ration of soup, I turned the act [of not fasting on Yom Kippur] into a symbol of rebellion, a protest against Him. And I nibbled on my crust of bread. Deep inside me, I felt a great void opening.” (p. 69)
60. Elie is transferred to a brutal construction commando block. (Away from his father.)
61. Elie is forced to undergo his first “Selection,” where prisoners are strong and live or weak and killed.
62. Elie’s father fails an initial “Selection,” and gives Elie his treasures in case he is to be killed. He passes the second Selection, luckily.
63. Elie and his dad decide not tp stay in Auschwitz and decide to evacuate. (Although those who stayed were freed two days later.)
64. Auschwitz evacuates the prisoners, block by block over the course of a week.
65. Elie and his father’s block is near to the end, and they have had no food for the days that they’ve been waiting when they begin their running Death March.
66. Elie’s friend dies, crushed under the feet of runners, when he has a stomach issue and cannot stop.
67. They run for miles, with no stopping, no food, and in winter conditions, under the threat of armed German Nazi SS who would shoot them if they stopped.
68. Elie sees the famous Rabbi who is looking for his own son, who ditched him during the march.
69. They stop for the night in snow drifts. Elie’s father finds a shed, but too many people try to be in it, and they are crushed under the weight of other people.
70. In this pile, many are dying. Elie finds Juliek, the boy from Warsaw, who has miraculously carried his violin through this Death March to this place.
71. Elie finds his father in the mass of people.
72. At some point in the night, Juliek plays a haunting sonata on the violin, but dies in the night, and the violin has been crushed by the next morning.
73. The SS put them on cattle cars (train) to head deeper into central Germany. 100 men per car. Only sixteen survive this train ride in Elie’s car.
74. Arrived at Buchenwald concentration camp.75. The conditions at Buchenwald are abysmal. Elie’s father is sick with Dysentery. (An Intestinal disorder where your body has severe diarrhea and water makes it worse, until death.)
76. Elie cannot help his father, and his mental anguish at being helpless breaks his heart.
77. His father is beaten because he can’t leave to go to the bathroom outside. This worsens his condition. An officer violently beats Elie’s dad in the head (major head trauma) for being too loud, calling for water. January 28th, 1945: Father dies, is taken during the night, burned in the crematorium. Elie doesn’t get to say goodbye.
78. Elie is “free. Free at last.” Now that nothing matters.
79. The Americans arrive at the camp and liberate the prisoners.
80. Elie deals with starvation and sickness and recovers for weeks, when he eventually sees his reflection, he sees “a corpse” As his reflection because his body is so deteriorated from his time in Concentration camps.