Stein, our relative from Antwerp, continued to visit us and, from time to time, he would bring a half portion of bread:
"Here, this is for you, Eliezer."
Every time he came, tears would roll down his icy cheeks. He would often say to my father:
"Take care of your son. He is very weak, very dehydrated. Take care of yourselves, you must avoid selection. Eat! Anything, anytime. Eat all you can. The weak don’t last very long around here …"
And he himself was so thing, so withered, so weak …
"The only thing that keeps me alive," he kept saying, "is to know that Reizel and the little ones are still alive. Were it not for them, I would give up."
One evening he came to see us, his face radiant.
"A transport just arrived from Antwerp. I shall go to see them tomorrow. Surely they will have news …"
We never saw him again. He had been given the news. The real news. (3.164-173)
Stein reminds father and son the importance of keeping each other alive during such a hard time. The way Stein sees it, family is the only thing worth living for. For that reason, when he learns that his family is dead, Stein sees no reason to keep on living.