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Unfortunately, the Jews did not recognize how bad life truly was in the Sighet ghettos because of the gradual reduction of rights inherent in Hitler's final solution. Before the Jews move into the ghettos, they share their houses with enemy soldiers and think nothing of it because they think it will not get any worse. They allow their Jewish leaders to be arrested, and again handle the arrests with complacency. When forced to wear yellow stars, Elie's dad states that one "cannot die from it."
Thus, when Elie and other Sighet Jews move to the ghettos, they think that they have reached the worst of their ordeal. While the ghettos certainly did not rival the Jews' houses, they were not as bad as what the Jews were to encounter in the boxcars and camps. Families who were used to having enough space for everyone are crammed together in small apartments in the ghettos. They are not allowed to possess valuables; so many Jews hide their jewelry and other precious items. They are under a strict curfew, not just at night, but also during the day as to where they could go and for limited reasons. Ultimately, the ghettos are a preview of the harsher treatment the Jews will encounter.
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