Jon Cannon Period 1 Section 1 Elie tells of his hometown, Sighet, and of Moshe the Beadle. He tells of his family and his three sisters, Hilda, B'ea, and the baby of the family, Tzipora. Elie is taught the cabala by Moshe the Beadle. Moshe is taken away and sees an entire train of people murdered by the Gestapo. He returns to Sighet and tries to warn them, but no one believes his story. The Nazis come and take over Sighet.
Elie is moved to a ghetto, along with all the other Jews in Sighet. They soon are taken away in a train to Auschwitz. INTERESTING WORDS: Nobody ever felt ENCUMBERED by his presence. (Burdened) Maimonides said it was only at thirty that one had the right to venture into the perilous world of MYSTICISM. (Religious studies) This year was a year like any other, with its springtime, its BETROTHALS, its weddings, and birth. (Engagements) There are ANTI-SEMITIC incidents every day, in the streets, in the trains.
(Anti-Jew) Section 2 A large number of Jews are forced into a train car. The ride is very cramped and uncomfortable. A woman called Madame Sh " ach ter starts shouting about a fire that she can see every night. Her little boy clings to her and cries. Eventually the Jews tie her, gag her, and even hit her. They finally make it to Auschwitz at what seemed to be midnight, and see the flames Madame Sh " ach ter was yelling about.
A tall crematory spewing flames and smoke loomed over them. INTERESTING WORDS: An SS noncommissioned officer came to meet us, a TRUNCHEON in his hand. (Club) We " ve got to REVOLT. (Rebel) We started to eat our last PROVISIONS. (Rations) Section 3 Elie and his father are separated from Elie's mother and little sister, never to be seen again.
Elie comes face to face with the Angel of Death as he is marched to the edge of a crematory, but is put in a barracks instead. Elie's faith briefly faltered at this moment. They are forced to strip down, but to keep their belt and shoes. They run to the barber and get their hair clipped off and any body hair shaved. Many of the Jews rejoice to see the others that have made it.
Others weep for the ones lost. They then get prison clothes that were ridiculously fitted. They made exchanges and went to a new barracks in the "gypsies' camp." They wait in the mud for a long time. They were permitted to another barracks, with a gypsy in charge of them.
They are taken to Auschwitz, out of Birkenau. They are put in Block 17. They rest for the evening. They are woken up at about ten o' clock. They are given black coffee for breakfast, and they converse. At noon, they are brought a plate of thick soup.
They take a nap in the shade of the block. They are waken and given identification numbers. Elie's is A-7713. There was a roll call that evening. Eight days pass by and Elie and his father meet Elie's cousin-in-law.
They are transferred to another camp. INTERESTING WORDS: The ANTECHAMBER of hell must look like this. (Entrance) So many crazed men, so many cries, so much BESTIAL brutality! (Cruel) The MORNING STAR was shining in the sky. (Sun) From the middle of the barracks, he HARANGUED us. (Scolded) Auschwitz is not a CONVALESCENT home. (Restorative) Section 4 They arrive at Buna and meet their new head of camp.
They are showered and given new clothes. They meet their head of tent, who is a very fat and menacing German. A boy tries to trade Elie for his shoes, but he does not give them up. They were inspected by a doctor.
He is inspected by a dentist for gold teeth, and Elie has one. Elie meets Juliek the Pole, Louis the violinist, Hans from Berlin, and the foreman Franek the Pole. Juliek tells him of Idek their Kap o who is ruthless and of their work which is not the least bit hard or dangerous. They go to work and meet Yossi and Tibi, two Czechs whose parents were exterminated in Birkenau.
They become very good friends. After dinner, Elie is told to go the dentist. The dentist tries to extract his gold crown but Elie fakes ill. The dentist lets him go but tells him to come back, and not to wait for him to call. Elie goes back a week later with the same excuse, and the dentist lets him go again. One day he is beaten severely by Idek and a French girl slipped him some bread and gave him kind words.
Another day, his father is beaten by Idek. Franek tries to take Elie's gold crown, but Elie won't let him. Eventually, Franek takes it from him and is transferred later. One day Idek tells them to do whatever they like, but to do something. Therefore, Elie is wandering around when he sees Idek with a half-naked Polish girl. Elie is caught and is whipped twenty-five times.
Later there is an Alert. They stay in their Blocks and someone sneaks out to get some unguarded soup. Bombs drop on Buna, and their morale is improved. A week later, they see people hanged.
They watch a little boy be hanged. They are disturbed. INTERESTING WORDS: They were two Czechs whose parents had been EXTERMINATED at Birkenau. (Killed) Juliek, a BESPECTACLED Pole with a cynical smile on his pale face.
(A Pole wearing glasses) She gave me a MOURNFUL smile and slipped a bit of bread into my hand. (Sad) Section 5 The Jewish year is ending. Elie and his father are separated. Selection was drawing close. Elie undresses and runs through the line of SS doctors. He passes selection and runs to find his father, who has passed as well.
Several days pass by and Elie's father is asked to stay behind for work one day. He gives Elie a knife and a spoon. After work, he runs to his father's block to find him alive. Elie gives the knife and spoon back to his father.
Winter comes and things are even harder. Elie gets a swelling in his foot and goes to the doctor. The doctor operates on him and he sleeps in a bed for the first time in a long time. Rumor spreads that the front is spreading closer to Buna. The camp began to evacuate in complete bedlam. Elie and his father decide to evacuate through the snow on Elie's bad foot.
The next day they begin the evacuation. INTERESTING WORDS: I had only a FORTNIGHT to wait. (Two weeks) We had already suffered so much, BORNE so much together; this was not the time to be separated. (Endured) The death KNELL. (Bell) Section 6 The evacuation begins and the deportees start running through the snow. The Nazis shoot anyone who falls down or stops running.
Several are shot. Elie struggles and begins to debate with himself if he should let himself die. He decides not to and keeps on running. They run for a very long time, they reach a ghost town and stop to rest. People start laying down and dying in the snow. Elie lays down to rest in an old building and is awakened by his father.
They take turns resting. They begin to march again through the heavy snow and reach Gleiwitz. They stayed there for three days without food or water. On the third day at dawn, they wait for a train to come.
The train comes, the SS shove a hundred Jews per carriage, and they set off. INTERESTING WORDS: A trail of INDETERMINATE light showed on the horizon. (Vague) Despite the trials and PRIVATIONS, his face still shone with his inner purity. (Miseries) A terrible thought LOOMED up in my mind: he had wanted to get rid of his father! (Emerged) Section 7 They ride in the train through the night, and it stops in the middle of a field. The corpses of those who had died are thrown out of the cars. Elie's father is taken for dead, but Elie throws himself on his father and wakes him up.
They still have no food, and begin to eat the snow. They pass through German townships and one day a worker throws a piece of bread in. A tremendous brawl breaks out and people are killing each other for it. The other Germans begin to follow and throw bread into Elie's wagon. A fight breaks out in his wagon. One night Elie wakes up and someone is trying to strangle him.
He is saved. On the last day of their journey, they all begin to cry. The entire train cried. They soon after reach Buchenwald.
From a car where a hundred were packed in, a dozen got out. INTERESTING WORDS: His eyes gleamed; a smile, like a GRIMACE, lit up his dead face. (Contortion) On the last day of our journey a terrible wind arose; it snowed without CEASING. (Stopping) Hundreds of cries rose up SIMULTANEOUSLY. (Together) Section 8 The Deportees are separated and sent to the showers. Elie's father is too tired and feels as if he should die.
Elie won't let him. There is an alert and everyone makes for his block. They rest and the next morning Elie realizes he had abandoned his father. He goes looking for him. He finds his father and sees that he is sick with a high fever. He brings him some coffee.
On their third day, they are showered. Elie discovers his father is sick with dysentery. Elie tries to get his father to the doctor but the doctor claims he does not treat dysentery. Elie's father is beaten by his fellow prisoners, and his rations are stolen. Elie is very frustrated.
One day a SS officer tells Elie's father to be quiet and he does not respond. The officer deals him a heavy blow on the head with his truncheon. His father dies on January 28, 1945. INTERESTING WORDS: I SEIZED him by the arm. (Grabbed) The beds were in several TIERS. (Rows) I could see that he was still breathing-SPASMODICALLY.
(Fitfully) Section 9 Elie stays in the camp for a long time. He no longer feels much, except hunger. The camp starts to be liquidated. Thousands leave by the day. On April 10, there is still about twenty-thousand left. They told them that they would be evacuated and the camp would be blown-up.
The resistance movement decided to act and they took over the camp. The fist thing they did was eat. They had no though of revenge, but food. Elie becomes ill with food poisoning and is in the hospital. He looks at himself in the mirror for the first time in two years and describes himself as a corpse looking back at him. INTERESTING WORDS: I spent my days in a state of total IDLENESS.
(Routine nothingness) We learned on the way that the camp resistance organization had decided not to abandon the Jews and was going to prevent their being LIQUIDATED. (Exterminated) PASSAGES " Physically he was as awkward as a clown. He made people smile, with his waif like timidity." p. 1 I like this passage because it reminds me of a man I met once, a Bishop in my good friend's church.
He was a funny man, with hardly any hair on his head and a ridiculous comb-over. He always seemed oblivious to everything that was modern. He always made everyone in his ward smile with his jokes that were completely stupid." My father was a cultured, rather unsentimental man. There was never any display of emotion, even at home." p.
2 This passage reminds me of a teacher I once had. He was very stern and never showed emotion. He was always business and would never joke. Even if you were talking to him one on one, he wouldn't show any personality." The street was like a market place that had suddenly been abandoned." p. 15 I liked this passage because it reminds me of the commons after lunch.
When the bell rings it clears out in a matter of minutes, and nothing is left but half eaten food and garbage." Our terror was about to burst the sides of the train. Our nerves were at breaking point." p. 23 This passage reminds me of an experience I had in elementary school. We were being very loud and disrespectful to the teacher, who was a hefty woman. She yelled with her deep booming voice, and the class went completely silent. We were all but wee seven year olds, and were terrified to the bone as she yelled at us.
It felt like the fear was going to shatter the windows in our classroom." The barometer of confidence soared." p. 24 This passage reminds me of when I was at Bennion Teton Boys Ranch, a summer camp in Idaho. Every day you have to wake up at six, eat breakfast, and then work until twelve thirty. A couple of my buddies and I were on a work crew with a strict counselor. He took away my watch because I had kept looking at it for minutes at a time instead of working. The work that day stunk: we were cleaning out horse trailers.
I wasn't really hungry for lunch, but I was hungry for freedom out of that dung-ridden trailer. We were working on a trailer that was especially dirty. The pile of horse waste was well over my head and it was just wretched trying to haul that out. The counselor came in looking at my watch and told us that we only had ten minutes of work left. As Elie put it, our barometer of confidence soared. We were so excited about getting off work that we got all the horse manure out of the trailer.
"As dusk fell, darkness gathered inside the wagon." p. 25 This passage reminds me of driving to Lake Tahoe in the summer. We always start in the morning and drive through until night. I usually read on the way over, and when dusk comes darkness gathers in the car. It becomes harder and harder to read by the second and I end up getting a flashlight and holding it in my mouth whilst I read." And I did not know that in that place, at that moment, I was parting from my mother and Tzipora forever." p. 27 This reminds me of the night when my father died.
He was suffering from a brain tumor, and his condition was bad. Home was very stressful and I went with an old family friend to sleep at her house. I said goodbye to may father before I left that night, and he just stared at the ceiling. I came back the next morning and my mom was waiting for me. She was crying. She told me that my dad had died in the night.
I had no idea that when I said goodbye to him the night before, that would be my last moment with him alive." He did not answer. He was weeping. His body was shaken convulsively." p. 31 This reminds me of a time when I was stressed beyond my limit with school, friends, family, and everything. It seemed as if nothing could get any worse. I was crying hard, and my brother asked me what was wrong with me.
I did not answer, but he gave me a hug and I cried even harder."Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God himself. Never." p. 32 I liked this passage because it reminds me of my dad. Never will I forget the things he did. How he would sing, sing about anything.
Sing about how he was putting sugar on his cereal. Sing about how beautiful the morning was. Or his disregard to any form of etiquette. When we were at the dinner table, he would let out a belch louder than I though was humanly possible and would continue eating as if nothing had happened while our family fell on the ground with laughter and my mom looked at him in fury. I will never forget these things. Although they seem insignificant, they are what I remember best of my dad." As if the choice were in our own hands." p.
45 I chose this passage because it reminds me of something I had been thinking for a long time. Recently this year my mom sold my childhood home. We were looking for a place to move, and she was looking at the houses that were the farthest away from East. My friends told me to move next to them, but I thought as Elie did." His voice was calm and reached me as through a thick wall." p. 55 This passage I can really relate to because it explains exactly what a teacher sounds like to me when I am so tired I am on the brink of unconsciousness. His / her voice sounds calm, quiet, and as if he / she is trying to talk through a mattress." Within a few minutes, the camp looked like an abandoned ship.
Not a living soul on the paths. Near the kitchen, two cauldrons of steaming hot soup had been left, half full. Two cauldrons of soup, right in the middle of the path, with no one guarding them! A feast for kings, abandoned, supreme temptation!" p. 56 I liked this passage because it reminds me of another time I had a Bennion Teton Boys Ranch. There were strict rules there about going into the kitchen. No campers could go in there without permission, unless they wished to wash dishes.
It was Sunday, and I was very thirsty. I had no good drinks at my bunkhouse. I knew they had some good soda down in the kitchen at the lodge. I walked down the forest path to the lodge, and since it was Sunday, the majority of the camp went to church.
It was my last Sunday at the ranch and decided to take advantage of it and sleep in and stay at the bunk. I was with my friend when I reached the lodge. We could see through a window a box of Dr. Pepper. Our throats burned for the sweet taste of Dr. Pepper.
We were nervous that one of the counselors had stayed home, but we sprinted in the kitchen and grabbed a couple cans and back out without being caught." I raised my eyes to look at my father's face leaning over mine, to try to discover a smile or something resembling one upon aged, dried-up countenance. Nothing. Not the shadow of an expression. Beaten." p. 65 I like this passage because it is very powerful and shows you how worn out and hopeless you must feel in a concentration camp, it reminds me slightly sometimes how I feel when things go wrong. Beaten." In the depths of my heart, I felt a great void." p.
66 I chose this passage because it shows how Elie felt every time he rebelled against God. It is also how I feel when I treat my mother poorly, or when I hurt someone's feelings. I remember a few years ago when my brother and I were in a fight, I said some things that were mean. I made him cry, and I felt so horrible.
I did feel like I had a void in my heart." I began to laugh. I was glad. I would like to kiss him. At that moment, what did the others matter? I hadn't been written down." p. 69 I liked this passage because it reminds me of the Halloween dance in seventh grade.
You could only go if you had less than three tar dies that month. I yearned to go. As the teacher was reading the list of kids who could not go, he did not read my name. I was so happy, one of my friends couldn't go, but I didn't care because I made it! I felt as if I myself could kiss my math teacher who had read the list." I was putting one foot in front of the other mechanically. I was dragging with me this skeletal body which weighed so much. If only I could have got rid of it! In spite of my efforts not to think about it, I could feel myself as two entities-my body and me.
I hated it." p. 81 I chose this passage because this is exactly how I felt when I was on a backpacking hike. This too, was at Bennion. Every weekend we were able to go on an overnight camp out somewhere. The last weekend, we went on a three-day hike. This was the three-day.
I was but a young twelve-year-old. I was on the hardest hike. Six miles of steep incline. I was walking mechanically, wishing I could just fall down and land on my bunk back at the ranch. I felt as if everything on me was so heavy: my pack, my arms, my legs, my shoes, my hands, everything." I had neither the strength nor the will to get up.
Nevertheless, I obeyed." p. 84 I chose this passage because it reminds me how I feel every morning when my alarm goes off the get up and go to school." He started up. He sat up and looked round him, bewildered, stupefied- a bereaved stare. He stared all round him in a circle as though he had suddenly decided to draw up an inventory of his universe, to find out exactly where he was, in what place, and why. Then he smiled." p. 86 I like this passage a lot because in spite of everything that has happened to him, that is happening to him, or that will probably happen to him, he smiles.
He smiles in the face of certain death. That is real courage." The night was long and never ending." p. 93 I chose this passage because it reminds me of many things. It reminds me of Christmas Eve, the excitement, the uneasiness. It also reminds me of the last night of summer, the last night before school starts. How much I dread that night.
All your freedoms, all your fun, put on hold until next summer. That night is the farthest away you will ever be from next summer, and I hate it." When they withdrew, next to me were two corpses, side by side, the father and the son. I was fifteen years old." p. 96 I chose this passage because it is very powerful, showing you how young Elie was when he witnessed so much terror and death. It makes me sick to think about the things he had to witness at so young an age." The last day had been the most murderous. A hundred of us had got in the wagon.
A dozen of us got out- among them, my father and I." p. 98 I chose this passage because it made me realize how truly murderous the Holocaust was. It makes me sad to think of the people that they had reached a state where they had no will to live anymore. To just let themselves die, knowing that they will just be tossed in some pit or field with no grave, no funeral, nothing." He did not answer. I was so exhausted myself that his silence left me indifferent." p. 99 I chose this passage because it reminds me of when someone wakes me up in the night or early morning and I ask them why they had waken me up and they do not answer, and then I am too tired to answer back, and am left indifferent." There was silence all around now, broken only by groans." p.
105 I chose this passage because it reminds me of a time when I was at Bennion (yes, again). There was a major outbreak of strep and conjunctivitis. Five or six of my fellow campers were stuck in my bunk during work one day and the only noise there was was one of us groaning and occasionally a poor fellow running to the toilet to vomit." I could see that he was still breathing- spasmodically." p. 106 This passage reminds me of when my grandma was on her deathbed last year and saw her the day before she died. She looked like a different person.
Her eyes were shut and her mouth was gaping as she spasmodically gasped for air." And even when we were no longer hungry, there was still no one who thought of revenge." p. 109 I chose this passage because it amazes me that after all they had suffered, after all the unnecessary hardships the Nazis made them suffer, no one had a though of revenge." From the depths of the mirror, a corpse gazed back at me." p. 109 I chose this passage because it reminds me of a time when I was sick and I had eaten hardly anything and had gotten very little sleep because I was vomiting all the night through. I was lying in my bed and I looked over at my closet doors, which where sliding mirrors, and I saw myself.
I looked like I had died. My face was pale, my eyes were black, and I was unusually skinny." The look in his eyes, as they stared into mine, has never left me." p. 109 I did this passage because I can only imagine what it was like to see himself after two years, and how much he had changed since then, he really must have looked like a different person. I am sure that he must have been shocked and I am not surprised that that memory has stayed with him for so long.