After Elie and his father arrive at Birkenau and are questioned by Dr. Mengele, they are directed to go to the left. An inmate who has been there longer informs them that they are on their way to the crematorium. Trapped in the procession, Elie and his father move onward, observing the flames arising ahead of them and the bodies of young children being taken from a truck and thrown into the fire.
Elie's father and some of the others begin reciting the Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead. Elie does not join in the recitation; he rebels.
Why should I sanctify His name?...What was there to thank Him for?...Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes.
Elie and his father marked Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish recognition of the last day of the year, at Buna. As the Jewish prisoners packed themselves together into the open courtyard to hear the prayers and recite the responses, Elie again denounces God instead of joining in the worship.
why would I bless Him?...Because He caused thousands of children to burn in His mass graves? ...How could I say to Him: Blessed be Thou, Almighty, Master of the Universe, who chose us among all nations to be tortured day and night
Elie comes to feel that he is "alone, terribly alone in a world without God, without man...I felt myself to be stronger than the Almighty to whom my life had been bound for so long."