what are some examples of poor treatment that occurred in the concentration camps in the book night?

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Soon after arriving and being "processed" at Auschwitz, Elie's father is stricken with colic. He asks the Gypsy guard in charge of the barrack in which he and Elie are stationed for the location of the toilet.

The Gypsy stared at him for a long time, from head to toe...Then, as if waking from a deep sleep, he slapped my father with such force that he fell down and then crawled back to his place on all fours. (p. 39)

Elie's attempts to protect his father led to more instances of abuse as time went on. His father was unable to maintain the march pace that was demanded whenever groups of prisoners moved from one place to another. This inability to conform became another opportunity for the guards.

That presented Franek with the opportunity to torment him and, on a daily basis, to thrash him savagely. Left, right: he punched him. Left, right: he slapped him...'So! You still don't know how to march in step, you old good-for-nothing?' (p. 55)

Prisoners were forced to witness the punishments of other prisoners, which could be considered "poor treatment" on several levels.

The three condemned prisoners together stepped onto the chairs. In unison, the nooses were placed around their necks...At the signal, the three chairs were tipped over...The two men were no longer alive. Their tongues were hanging out, swollen and bluish. But the third rope was still moving: the child, too light, was still breathing...And so he remained for more than half an hour, lingering between life and death, writhing before our eyes.(pp. 64-65)


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