It was on arrival at Birkenau that Eliezer witnessed one of the most horrific sights that left him shocked and in disbelief. Eliezer witnessed babies being burnt alive in the crematoria.
Eliezer and the other Jews arrived at Birkenau amidst hope that all would be well. However, as they walked into the camp, the situation changed. The camp was full of SS officers with their guns trained on them. The smell of burning flesh was in the air, and women and men were separated. The men were selected based on age to ensure they were capable of handling the hardships ahead. During the selection, Eliezer and his father were advised by an older prisoner to lie about their age to secure their survival. Father and son were waved to the left and narrowly escaped death. However, they came close enough to the crematoria to witness the burning of men, women and children.
NEVER SHALL I FORGET that night, the first night in camp, that turned my life into one long night seven times sealed.
Never shall I forget that smoke.
Never shall I forget the small faces of the children whose bodies
I saw transformed into smoke under a silent sky.
Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith forever.
Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence that deprived me for all eternity of the desire to live.
Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes.
Never shall I forget those things, even were I condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never.