The people were cold and crammed into the train car. When daylight came the soldiers ordered people in the cars to throw out any bodies of people who had died. Elie's father was non responsive and the men approached him to throw him out of the car.
"I threw myself on top of his body. He was cold. I slapped him. I rubbed his hands, crying: "Father! Father! Wake up. They're trying to throw you out of the carriage.." His body remained inert. The two gravediggers, seized me by the collar." (66-67)
Elie continued to argue with the men and fight for the life of his father until eventually his father did open his eyes and the men wandered off looking for other bodies.