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Mrs. Schachter is like Cassandra because she tried to warn people about the fires but no one listened to her.
We will never really know what was going on with Mrs. Schachter. She was a respectable woman before the fateful boxcar transport where she became hysterical after being separated from her husband. Almost immediately she seems to have lost her will, and was not able to control her moaning and crying.
It did not take long before she began screaming.
She continued to scream and sob fitfully.
"Jews, listen to me," she cried. "I see a fire! I see flames, huge flames!"
It was as though she were possessed by some evil spirit. (Ch 3)
No one listened to her. They felt sorry for her at first, explaining away her outburst by saying she was “thirsty.” Her son and the others told her there was no fire, but she was not quieted until they tried to gag her and eventually hit her.
The interesting aspect of this is that there was a fire. She could not know that millions of Jews were being burned or gassed, but someone she did. She was foretelling what would happen to many of them, but no one believed her. Being ignored and patronized made her more and more manic and led to them attacking her because they could not stand it anymore.
Regardless of what she did or did not know, Mrs. Schachter’s fire was foreshadowing. It made sense to them later, and they likely wondered how she could ever know. Like Moishe the beadle, another prophet who saw the danger firsthand and tried to warn everyone, her warnings went unheard.
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