The Jewish people in the ghettos were forced to leave their homes two weeks before Shavuot, and Elie witnessed them "defeated, their bundles, their lives in tow, having left behind their homes, their childhood" (Wiesel 17).
During the train transport to Birkenau, Mrs. Schachter envisions fire in the distance, and "her little boy was crying, clinging to her skirt, trying to hold her hand" (Wiesel 25). The other passengers tried to calm her down, but eventually tied her up and gagged her.
Elie and his father are separated from their family as they arrive at Birkenau. They are both told by a veteran inmate, "No. Not fifty. You're forty. Do you hear? Eighteen and forty" (Wiesel 30), in order to survive the selection.
Idek, the Kapo with a terrible temper, beat Elie's father as he stood by watching. As he witnessed his father's suffering, he thought, "Why couldn't he have avoided Idek's wrath? This was what life in a concentration camp had made of me" (Wiesel 54).
Elie visited the infirmary after his foot began to swell, where he had an operation to open the sac on the sole of his foot. After the surgery, he asks the doctor if his leg would be usable, and he answers, "listen well: in two weeks you'll be fully recovered. You'll be able to walk like the others" (Wiesel 80) to alleviate his fears about his leg being amputated.
The Jewish prisoners are forced to run to their destination as they evacuate from the camp. Elie and his father are exhausted, and Elie thinks, "I had no right to let myself die. What would he do without me" (Wiesel 87)?