by Elie Wiesel
Please answer the questions in complete sentences on your own paper.

Chapter One

  1. In what point of view is this story written?
  2. Describe the setting (time and place).
  3. What is Elie Wiesel’s strong and unique connection with Moshe the Beadle?
  4. Why does Moshe suddenly leave Sighet?
  5. What story does Moshe tell when he returns to Sighet?
  6. How do the Jews of Sighet react and respond to Moshe at this point?
  7. Why do the Jews remain optimistic in the face of what Moshe tells them and rumors they hear of other anti-Semitic incidents in Europe?
  8. What are the Jews’ first impressions of the Germans occupying Sighet?
  9. In Spring of 1944, on the seventh day of Passover, Wiesel writes. “The race toward death had begun.” What three “restrictions” are imposed on the Jews?
  10. Describe the ghettos.
  11. How do Elie and his sisters help the first Jews who are deported out of the ghetto?
  12. What “joy” is Wiesel talking about on page 14?
  13. Who is Martha and what does she offer?
  14. Describe the “expulsion”.

Chapter Two

  1. Describe the journey by train.
  2. What are the Jews told at Kaschau?
  3. Describe Madame Schachter and her actions.
  4. How do the others in the car react to her?
  5. At Auschwitz two men are allowed to get out and fetch water. What news do they bring back to the car?
  6. How is Madame Schachter proved to be not crazy but perhaps “visionary”?
  7. What is Birkenau?

Chapter Three

  1. “Eight words spoken quietly, indifferently, without emotion. Eight short, simple words.” What painful, life-changing meaning do these words have for Wiesel?
  2. How are Wiesel and his father “greeted” by some of the prisoners at Birkenau?
  3. Some of the young men want to revolt. Why don’t they?
  4. What infamous person is directing the men to the left and to the right?
  5. Describe why the men begin weeping and praying. Does Wiesel join in? Why or why not?
  6. “Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed.” Why might this be one of the most significant passages in the book?
  7. For what job were the strong, sturdy men selected that first day?
  8. Describe the “process” that Wiesel and the other new arrivals go through that first night and day.
  9. Why does Wiesel thank God for mud?
  10. Who is Wiesel referring to when he speaks of the “Angel of Death” and what “choice” does this man give the prisoners?
  11. Why does the gypsy strike Wiesel’s father and how does Wiesel react when this happens?
  12. How do the prisoners get from Birkenau to Auschwitz and what are their first impressions of this new camp?
  13. What is Wiesel referring to when he writes, “The first human words.”
  14. What is Wiesel’s number and where does he “wear” it?
  15. What lie does Wiesel tell Mr. Stein and why?
  16. According to Wiesel’s father, what has happened to Wiesel’s mother and little sister?
  17. How long are Wiesel and his father in Auschwitz and what do they do there?
  18. Describe the move to Buna.

Chapter Four

  1. Why are some of the children treated so well by the Germans?
  2. What kind of music are the Jewish musicians forbidden to play and why?
  3. What is Wiesel’s job at Buna?
  4. Why is Wiesel summoned to the dentist?
  5. Why does the French girl pass herself off as an Aryan?
  6. Describe how Wiesel feels as he watches Idek beat his father.
  7. Why does Wiesel try to teach his father to march in step?
  8. What does Franek want from Wiesel and how does he get it?
  9. Why is Wiesel whipped?
  10. Whay are the prisoners unafraid and joyful during the air-raid?
  11. Why does Wiesel say “I found the soup excellent that evening” after the first hanging?
  12. And why does he say “the soup tasted of corpses” the night after the hanging described on pages 61-62?

Chapter Five

  1. How have Wiesel’s feelings toward God and Jewish holidays changed?
  2. What is the New Year’s “gift” from the SS?
  3. What advice does the head of Wiesel’s block give the men to get through the selection?
  4. What is “the inheritance” Wiesel refers to?
  5. Akiba Drumer is described earlier in the book as deeply religious and deeply faithful. What has happened to him?
  6. Why is Wiesel put in the hospital? What is he afraid will happen to him there?
  7. Why is the camp being evacuated?
  8. Wiesel and his father have a choice. What is it? What do they choose?
  9. Why does Wiesel describe his fellow prisoners as “mountebanks” and “buffoons”?
  10. What absurd order does the head of the block give just before the prisoners leave?

Chapter Six

  1. How do the prisoners mange to go on, as weak as they are, to run for miles and m,iles, in deep snow?
  2. What happens to Zalman?
  3. Why does Wiesel’s father wake him at the brick factory?
  4. When Rabbi Eliahou comes looking for his son, what does Wiesel remember about him?
  5. What is Wiesel’s prayer?
  6. Describe what it is like in the barracks at Gleiwitz.
  7. What touching, memorable thing does Juliek do in the barracks the night before he dies?
  8. How many days do they spend at Gleiwitz?
  9. Describe the “spectacle” that makes the SS men laugh.
  10. How many men to a cattle car this time?

Chapter Seven

  1. Describe what happens at each stop during the ten days of traveling by train.
  2. What happens when a workman throws bread into the wagon?
  3. What nightmarish thing happens on the last day on the train?

Chapter Eight

  1. How do the prisoners feel when they see the chimney of the crematory at Buchenwald?
  2. Why does Wiesel become enraged at his father?
  3. What does Wiesel do for his father that “probably brought him more satisfaction than I had done during my whole childhood”?
  4. Why are some of the men so abrasive to Wiesel’s father?
  5. What advice does the head of the block give Wiesel concerning his father?
  6. How does Wiesel’s father die?

Chapter Nine

  1. What is Wiesel’s life like from January 29th to April 11th?
  2. What happens on April 10th?
  3. What does Wiesel say about revenge?