Elie's first mention of his religion occurs when he is with Moishe, the poor man who never asked for anything. One day Moishe asks him "Why do you pray? he asked after a moment. Why did I pray? Strange question. Why did I live? Why did I breathe?" (Wiesel 4).
Elie and his family are put onto a cattle car that is stuffed with 80 other people. When they arrive to their first camp all that Elie can think of is "In front of us, those flames. In the air, the smell of burning flesh. It must have been around midnight.We had arrived. In Birkenau" (Wiesel 28).
Everyone in Elie's family is soon split up and before he knows it the true realities of the concentration camp are starting to appear before his eyes. Elie is struck with terror when he thinks "Was I still alive? Was I awake? How was it possible that men, women, and children were being burned and the world kept silent? No. All this could not be real" (Wiesel 32).
Once the prisoners arrived in Buna they were assigned to kommandos where they would work for the camp. Elie chose to stay with his dad and is pretty relieved when he thinks "Our comrades were right. The work was not difficult. Sitting on the ground, we counted bolts, bulbs, and various small electrical parts" (Wiesel 50).
Elie's whole faith in humanity and the God he once believed in is lost New Years day. He comes to this realization when he goes to wish his father a happy new year "I ran to look for my father. At the same time I was afraid of having to wish him a happy new year in which I no longer believed...Never had we understood each other so clearly" (Wiesel 68).