| Quote #1
He [Moishe] told me what had happened to him and his companions. The train with the deportees had crossed the Hungarian border and, once in Polish territory, had been taken over by the Gestapo. The train had stopped. The Jews were ordered to get off and onto waiting trucks. The trucks headed toward a forest. There everybody was ordered to get out. They were forced to dig huge trenches. When they had finished their work, the men from the Gestapo began theirs. Without passion or haste, they shot their prisoners, who were forced to approach the trench one by one and offer their necks. Infants were tossed into the air and used as targets for the machine guns.
The violence Moishe witnesses and reports to the Jews in Sighet is so extreme and dispassionate that they don’t believe him. They find the violence so excessive that they chalk it up to Moishe’s imagination.
| Quote #2
"Look at the fire! Look at the flames! Flames everywhere…"
Terribly afraid and treated inhumanely themselves, the Jews are even violent to each other, lashing out at Mrs. Schächter because she amplifies their fear of what is to come.
| Quote #3
I pinched myself: Was I still alive? Was I awake? How was it possible that men, women, and children were being burned and that the world kept silent? No. All this would not be real. A nightmare perhaps … Soon I would wake up with a start, my heart pounding, and find that I was back in the room of my childhood, with my books …
Despite seeing it with his own eyes, the violence is so extreme that Eliezer has a hard time believing it could possibly be real; he thinks it must be a nightmare.