When Eliezer falls asleep, his dad wakes him and warns him not to fall asleep—it’s dangerous to sleep in the snow. To sleep means death.
Death is all around them. Many people do in fact die while they sleep. Snow falls on the corpses.
Eliezer and his dad work to keep each other awake.
Eliezer’s father smiles at him, and Eliezer wonders from which world the smile comes. This is his admission that his father hovers between life and death. It is only a matter of time.
Rabbi Eliahu comes looking for his son. Eliezer says he hasn’t seen him but after the Rabbi leaves, Eliezer remembers seeing the Rabbi’s son running beside him, looking back and leaving his old, weak father behind.
Eliezer utters a prayer that God will never let him be so cruel to his own father.
They continue marching. It continues snowing. Eliezer can’t even feel his wounded foot.
At last, they reach a camp, Gleiwitz, and they enter the barracks to sleep. There are so many people that they are stacked on each other to sleep.
Eliezer’s friend, Juliek, is also struggling but the worst thing, for him, is that his violin is getting smashed.
Eliezer feels himself being crushed. He is seeking air. At last he fights until he reaches some air.
Then he hears the violin—Juliek playing Beethoven through the long night.
When he wakes up, Juliek is dead and his violin is crushed beside him.
They stay at Gleiwitz for three days without food or water. SS officers guard the doors to the barracks.
On the third day, they are driven out of the barracks.
A selection! Eliezer’s father is sent to the left (bad side). Eliezer manages to slip into the left side and, in the middle of confusion, move his father back to the right.
Those on the right leave the camp. They march until they are told to stop and wait for the train. They wait for hours.
Finally, the train arrives and they are pushed inside.