The story takes place in 1941 Transylvanian. The narrator is a young boy of about 12 named Eliezer. He and his family are Orthodox Jews. Eliezer’s parents are very well respected shop owners. He also has two older sisters and a younger sister.
Eliezer is a student of the Jewish scripture the Talmud. He also studies some mystical Jewish texts. This part of his studies does not have his father’s approval, but Eliezer has a teacher he likes in Moshe the Beadle. Unfortunately Moshe is deported by the government. After many months, Moshe returns. He claims that he has escaped from the Gestapo and that all of the deportation trains were in the Nazi’s control. He claims to have seen Jews forced to dig their own graves and …show more content…
Mengele. Mengele is choosing which prisoners will live or die. Eliezer lies about his age saying he is 18. He also says he is a farmer. He and his father are sent to the left side. Eliezer is relieved that he is with his father but does not know if they will be killed or kept alive. As they move through the prison they see a large pit where babies are being burned. They also see a pit for adults. The Jews begin to weep and pray. The group with Eliezer and his father are led to barracks where they are stripped, shaved, showered, and given prison uniforms. A German soldier tells them they can work or die. Eliezer’s father is beaten for asking to go to the bathroom. Eliezer feels guilty for not defending his father. The prisoners continue to have faith in God as they are led on a four hour walk to the work camp.
Eliezer and his father end up in the same unit and live in the musician’s barracks. In the barracks he meets brothers named Yosi and Tibi. They also meet a violinist named Juliek. The brothers are Zionists and believe in a homeland for the Jews. Eliezer himself plans to move to Palestine.
Eliezer is sent to the dentist to have a gold tooth removed. He says he is sick and they do not pull the tooth. Eliezer learns that the dentist is hanged for trading in gold teeth.
Eliezer works hard to find food and stay alive. One day Eliezer is beaten by the man in charge of his work crew. A French girl comforts him after the