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Night by Elie Wiesel Chapter 6 Summary

Instructor: Melissa Iturralde

Melissa is an elementary/middle school teacher and has a master's degree in educational leadership.

In this chapter, Elie and his father survive terrible snow, starvation, dehydration, and marching 42 miles. Elie experiences a renewed feeling of protection for his father. Soon the prisoners are once again put on a cattle car for a new destination.

Freezing to Death

The prisoners are forced to march for 42 miles after evacuating Buna. During the harsh march, they are given absolutely no slack. In fact, anyone who slows down risks being trampled to death by the group or they face being shot on the spot. Finally, after trudging through snow for all those miles, the SS officers direct prisoners to stop and rest. Because of the sickly and frigid conditions, prisoners who fall asleep don't necessarily wake up. Elie and his father witness many men around them freezing to death in their sleep, so the two decide to take turns resting. To be safe they will only let each other close their eyes, making sure they don't actually fall asleep and never wake up.

A Son's Betrayal

Rabbi Eliahou, a kind, older man, searches for his son during the prisoners' rest stop. He tells Elie that he had become separated from his son during the march, and when he asks Elie if he has seen his son, Elie says he has not. But after the rabbi walks away, Elie suddenly remembers that he in fact did see the rabbi's son and he remembers that the rabbi's son sped up ahead of his father when the father was falling back during the march. This moment made Elie realize how much he cares about his father, and he vows to never let himself abandon his own father, no matter the circumstance or how frustrated he becomes.

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