The protagonist(Eliezer) and his father arrive in Birkenau after a long journey in a carriage full of a couple dozen people. The protagonist is asked what his age is by an prisoner of Birkenau. Eliezer responds by saying he is 15, the prisoner however convinces both Elizer and his father to lie about their age.
Eliezer and his father are put into the left line, however Dr.Mengele the officer dividing the newly transported prisoners put Eliezer's mother and younger sister into the right line.
Kapo(head prisoner) beat's up Eliezer's father, after Eliezer's father ask where are the bathrooms. During this display of terror, Eliezer does nothing to help his father's aide and quietly watches his father being beat up.
After Eleizer marched from Birkenau to Auschwitz, he was quartered for three weeks and forced to have a tattoo permanently imprinted onto his arm. The tattoo is are Eleizer's prisoner's number.
In Auschwitz, Eliezer and his father meet a distant relative Stein. While meeting Stein, Eliezer lies about the whereabouts and well being of Stein's family. As a result when Stein inevitably learns about his family's true whereabouts, he never visits Eliezer again.
Eleizer and his father once again are forced to march for four hours to another camp called Buna.