In Chapter 7 of Night by Elie Wiesel, describe the scene Elie witnessed between the father and son.
In the seventh chapter of this novel, Elie and his fellow prisoners board a train car following a two night long, freezing cold death march from Buna to Gleiwitz, as well as three additional days afterward in which no food or drink are distributed. Prior to boarding the train, the prisoners are given one ration of bread, which they consume along with spoonfuls of snow after spending the majority of an entire week with little or no food, despite having run almost 80 kilometers on foot.
The prisoners board the train in Poland and spend ten more days and nights with no food, while en route to Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany. While the train is stopped, a crowd of German spectators throw pieces of bread into train cars to watch the starving passengers fight one another for the chance to eat. Elie witnesses an old man who has hidden a piece of bread under his shirt being tackled and crushed by his son while attempting to take a bite. The man's heart-wrenching words to his son read as follows:
Meir. Meir, my boy! Don't you recognize me? I'm your father...you're hurting me...you're killing your father! I've got some bread...for you too...for you too...
After the son throws himself on top of the father to snatch the bread, he is tackled by other men who also want it, and at the end of the scene, the corpses of father and son lay side by side. This memory demonstrates the brutality and inhumanity that characterized many concentration camp victims, who were so near death that nothing seemed more important than survival alone.
The father and son scene in Chapter Seven of Night by Elie Wiesel shows the reader how absolutely terrible things have gotten for the prisoners. The Jews have been traveling by train, eating nothing but the snow which fell into their wagon. When they stopped in a German town, a worker threw a piece of bread into one of the train cars, and the men fought each other to the death for that bread while the Germans looked on as though they were at a circus. When a small piece of the bread landed inside the car Elie was in, he decided that he was not going to go after it, but he saw an elderly man crawling away and soon realized the man had a bit of the bread. As the man tried to eat it, his own son leaped upon him. The father cried out:
"'Meir, Meir, my boy! Don't you recognize me? I'm your father...you're hurting me...you're killing your father! I've got some bread...for you too...for you too...'"(Wiesel 96).
The son, like everyone else, was starving, and his father no longer mattered to him. All that mattered was food, and he killed his own father for that food. He, in turn, was killed by two other men, who beat him to death for that small piece of bread. This is what the Nazis had created.
The Jewish prisoners have been on-board a train, crammed in crowded cars, with no food for over 10 days. They are starving and dying rapidly. When the train stops briefly some workers throw some pieces of bread into the car. Men immediately begin to fight over the bread. The workers are amused and throw more bread.
Elie sees an old man dragging himself toward the bread while holding another piece inside his shirt. As he puts one piece in his mouth he is attacked by his son. He screams "Meir, Meir, my boy! Don't you recognize me?" His son continues beating him until he is dead and takes the bread from him. After killing his father and getting the bread, he is also attacked and killed for bread. You can read the exact details on page 68.