Elie and his family, his three sisters, mom, and father are introduced in the beginning of the story. They live in a small town of Sight called, Transylvania. Elie becomes interested in the Jewish religion and wants to learn more about it. He learns that Moshe is a master of this and wants to teach him.
World War II has been going on for some years and the town, Sight, wonders if it will get to them. All the Jews are deported including Moshe. Moshe is able to escape. He returns to Sight to warn people, but they do not listen to him.
German soldier's go to Sight and soon Ghetto's are formed. They hear that they will be deported to a concentration camp, which will be a 3 day journey. Elie and his father are put in the same rain car as Mrs.Schatcher. She is screaming that she sees fire.
Elie and his father arrive at Birkenau and women and men are separated. Then they go to Auschwitz and eventually travel to Buna to start working. There, Elie experinces death in front of him and losses hope.
Elie hurts his foot and undergoes an operation. The prisoners are evacuated and begin to march a run to Gleiwitz. Most of the prisoners die. Some survive when they arrived at Buchenwald. Elie and his father help each other to survive.
In Buchenwald, Elie's father dies, leaving Elie feeling guilty. He is left not knowing hwo he really his from the depths of the mirror. Elie survived but still has lots of mixed emotions.