| Quote #7
"Your age?" he [Dr. Mengele] asked, perhaps trying to sound paternal.
Eliezer lies to make himself seem older and a more able worker. Because of this, he passes selection and isn’t sent to the crematorium. Again we see that the young, old, and weak are killed, whereas those able to work are kept alive.
| Quote #8
Not far from us, flames, huge flames, were rising from a ditch. Something was being burned there. A truck drew close and unloaded its hold: small children. Babies! Yes, I did see this with my own eyes … children thrown into the flames. (Is it any wonder that ever since then, sleep tends to elude me?) (3.52)
Those that the Germans see as unfit for manual labor are killed.
| Quote #9
His voice was terribly sad. I understood that he did not wish to see what they would to do to me. He did not wish to see his only son go up in flames.
Eliezer’s father seems most scared of confronting his son’s mortality. Eliezer, too, thinks some kinds of death are better than others – he would rather electrocute himself than be forced to die in a crematorium.