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Quotes

Quote #7

Faster you filthy dogs!" We were no longer marching, we were running. Like automatons. The SS were running as well, weapons in hand. We looked as though we were running from them.

The night was pitch-black. From time to time, a shot exploded in the darkness. They had orders to shoot anyone who could not sustain the pace. Their fingers on the triggers, they did not deprive themselves of the pleasure. If one of us stopped for a second, a quick shot eliminated the filthy dog. (6.3-4)

Again the SS officers use the threat of death, and examples of murder, to frighten the prisoners into following orders. Although the SS are following their boss’s orders to shoot the prisoners that can’t keep up, they also gain pleasure from the violence.

Quote #8

"My son, they are beating me!"

"Who?" I thought he was delirious.

"Him, the Frenchman … and the Pole … They beat me …"

One more stab to the heart, one more reason to hate. One less reason to live.

"Eliezer … Eliezer … tell them not to beat me … I haven’t done anything … Why are they beating me?"

I began to insult his neighbors. They mocked me. I promised them bread, soup. They laughed. Then they got angry; they could not stand my father any longer, they said, because he no longer was able to drag himself outside to relieve himself. (8.66-71)

Eliezer’s father’s fellow prisoners use violence against him for no good reason. They are annoyed with him in his ill and decrepit state and therefore abuse him.

Quote #9

All around me, there was silence now, broken only by moaning. In front of the block, the SS were giving orders. An officer passed between the bunks. My father was pleading:

"My son, water … I’m burning up … My insides …"

[…]

The officer came closer and shouted to him to be silent. But my father did not hear. He continued to call me. The officer wielded his club and dealt him a violent blow to the head. (8.92-96)

The SS officer beats Eliezer’s harmless and ill father simply because he is annoyed that Eliezer’s father isn’t silent. Damage from the blow eventually kills Eliezer’s father. This is yet another powerful and horrifying example of senseless, cruel violence.

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