Night by Elie Wiesel Chapter 7 Summary

Instructor: Melissa Iturralde

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

In this lesson, learn about Chapter 7 of Night. We'll summarize and discuss the major events from the chapter. Find out what happens to Elie and his father in this lesson.

Introduction to Chapter 7 of Night

In Chapter 7 of Night by Elie Wiesel, Elie and his father are two remaining survivors out of one hundred from Buna. They endure harsh elements and bitter cold as they travel for ten days to another concentration camp in Buchenwald.

Throughout the ten-day journey from Buna to Buchenwald, the prisoners are doing the best they can to survive by eating only snow; even their own will to remain strong is fading. The survivors watch their fellow prisoners lose their lives day-by-day throughout this horrific journey. Fifteen-year-old Elie finds himself among the living and dead in a cattle car traveling to this new camp.

Elie and His Father Struggle To Survive

SS officers sort through the pile of bodies to remove the deceased prisoners from the car. Elie's father is unresponsive when they pick him up, which gives the officers false confirmation that he is dead. Elie runs to his father just in time to startle him awake causing the officers to leave his father on the wagon. Had Elie not woken up his father, he would have been thrown off the car among the other dead prisoners.

Elie's father is not the only one who narrowly escapes death in this chapter. One night while everyone is sleeping, Elie wakes up struggling to breathe at the hands of another Jewish man. He soon realizes he is being strangled and calls out to his father for help. Thankfully, a strong friend from Buna, Meir Katz, hears Elie's cries for help and steps in to save him by throwing the attacker off of Elie.

Germans Taunt Prisoners with Bread

At one point when the cattle car is stopped, German workers throw bread into the open cattle car to the crowd of prisoners. These men have been starving during their journey, so the sight of food other than snow creates chaos among the crowd.

The German workers enjoy taunting the prisoners as they watch them claw at each other for scraps of bread like savages. Sadly, they look at this as entertainment for themselves and continue to throw bread.

Elie watches as the prisoners lose all sight of humanity as they tear at each other for the food. This gut-wrenching desperation even drives a man to kill his own father for a piece of bread. Consequently, that man is in turn murdered by another Jew for the same bread he stole from his father.

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