Elie lives with his parents and three sisters in Sighet, Transylvania. His family practiced judaism and were happy. His father was looked highly upon the jewish community as Elie states "The jewish community of Sighet held him in highest esteem." (Wiesel4).
Elie's family and those of the Jewish community were shipped off in cattle cars to concentration camps. "Lying was not am option, nor could we sit down...there was little air." (Wiesel23). Elie describes the cramped cattle cars as they are being sent away.
Elie's family arrived at the first concentration camp and were separated. "Yet that was the moment I left my mother" (Wiesel29)
Elie and is father settle in to the camp and are put through terrible conditions, forced to watch people die and have to do hard labor. "The camp looks as though it had been through an epidemic: empty and dead." (Wiesel 47).
Elie starts to question his faith and wondering why this is all happening. He starts to lose his faith in god and his hope for the future. Elie states "Why would I bless him? Every fiber in me rebelled." (Wiesel67).
The prisoners are forced to leave the camp and walk in the freezing snow for 20 km to the new camp. The conditions are extremely harsh and if someone stops the S.S will shoot them. Elie describes "Near me, men were collapsing into the dirty snow. Gunshots." (Wiesel 86). This is what Elie is seeing during this time.