Elie and his family live in a small town in Hungarian Transylvania. Here Elie finds his interest in becoming a devout Jew that cries when praying. He learns Judaism from Moshe the Beadle, who is an expert in this area.
Eventually Moshe the Beadle is taken away because he is a foreigner, and when he comes back he warns the people of the things he has seen, however, nobody believes him.
People are told that they will be moved to concentration camps, and this is when people truly start to realize that their lives are going to be changed for the worse.
The family arrives at Birkenau, where the men and women become separated. From Birkenau, they go to Auschwitz. Then they travel to Buna and work in an electrical factory.
Elie has just been operated on because of his foot, he chooses to leave the camp and march with everybody else even though he is injured. People die constantly and only a few survive.
Elie’s father passes away, making Elie feel a mix of emotions, including guilt, despair, and relief. Even though Elie survives the torture, he does not know who he is.