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Quotes

Quote #16

From time to time, in the middle of all that talk, a thought crossed my mind: Where is Mother right now … and Tzipora …

"Mother is still a young woman," my father once said. "She must be in a labor camp. And Tzipora, she is a big girl now. She too must be in a camp …"

How we would have liked to believe that. We pretended, for what if one of us still did believe? (3.179-181)

Eliezer and his dad try to deceive themselves and each other about the likelihood that their loved ones are alive. In the end, however, Eliezer knows they’re just pretending in an attempt to keep each other’s hope alive.

Quote #17

We were quite used to this kind of rumor. It wasn’t the first time that false prophets announced to us: peace-in-the-world, the-Red-Cross-negotiating-our-liberation, or other fables … And often we would believe them … It was like an injection of morphine. (5.147)

Rumors of liberation from the Allies ease the prisoners’ pain and build up their hope, even if the rumors are false.

Quote #18

Only this time these prophecies seemed more founded. During the last nights, we had heard cannons in the distance.

My faceless neighbor spoke up:

"Don't be deluded. Hitler has made it clear that he will annihilate all Jews before the clock strikes twelve."

I exploded:

"What do you care what he said? Would you want us to consider him a prophet?"

His cold eyes stared at me. At last, he said wearily:

"I have more faith in Hitler than in anyone else. He alone has kept his promises, all his promises, to the Jewish people." (5.148-154)

Recognizing that illusions are dangerous, Eliezer’s neighbor in the hospital attempts to bring Eliezer back to the reality of their situation as Jews under Hitler’s control.

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