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  • Eliezer Wiesel lives in Sighet, Transylvania with his family, which consists of his parents and his three sisters, one younger and two older. At such a young age, Elie became a mystic, studying Jewish material and setting a goal of becoming the closest to God. Moishe the Beadle, soon became his menter, or as close as Elie would get to a person who would help him find a way to make question and answer ONE. However, soon the war began. 
  • The Jews in Sighet were affected by the war, as their lives became a continuous cycle of persecution and limitations. They no longer had much of a say in what happened to them, as they were forced out of their homes and into ghettos. Elie and his family had to learn to adjust their lives, but then they soon learned, that all of the Jews were being deported to another location, but this time it was unknown.
  • When Elie and his family leanred about the "unknown" location, they had to pack all of their belongings and wait for a couple of days for their turn to board the cattle cars, then in a destroyed synagogue, until finally Elie and his family, and 80 other Jews were boarded onto one of the cattle cars. While they were nervously waiting to see what their new home would look like, a woman, Mrs. Schachter, started shouting "fire", though there was nothing in sight. The others in the car grew impatient and started beating her to stop her from shouting. But what they didn't know was that she was right, there too, was going to be a "fire". 
  • As they arrived at their "home", a concentration camp in Birkenau, Elie and his father were separated from his mother and sisters. They had to tell many lies and endure cruel punishments, to stay together. They had to help each other, in any way they could, so they could both stay alive. However, Elie and his father kept moving from camp to camp, and his father grew terribly sick. When they arrive in Buchenwald, their last camp, Elie's father died of dysentery. 
  • Even after Elie's father died, he stayed in Buchenwald and focused all of his energy to one thing, survival. Fortunately, on April 11, 1945, the American army came and liberated Buchenwald, freeing all prisoners, including Elie. Elie again had only one goal, to survive. But while trying to do this, he became extremely sick with food poisoning. 
  • Elie spends the next couple of weeks in a hospital fighting to live. He decides to look in a mirror to see his reflection, it would be the first time since he left Sighet. When he does, what he sees in his eyes is engraved in his mind for the rest of his life, a corpse of someone he used to know. 
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