Section 1 of Night, a book by Elie (Eliezer) Wiesel, begins in 1941, at the outset of World War II, in the Jewish ghetto in Sighet, a town in the Carpathian mountains of northern Transylvania. The town is now named Sighetu Marmației and is part of Romania.
The first section of the book ends in the spring of 1944, with Jews from the Sighet ghetto, including fifteen-year-old Elie Wiesel and his mother, father, and three sisters, being loaded into cattle cars on trains that are destined for the concentration camp at Auschwitz in Poland.
In section 2, the train travels through Hungary to Kaschau, at the Czechoslovakian border, and after several days, the train arrives at Birkenau, the gateway to Auschwitz. The prisoners are told that Auschwitz is a comfortable work camp where families can stay together.
Section 3 recounts the processing of Elie's family at Birkenau, where Elie and his father are separated from his mother and sisters.
I saw them disappear into the distance; my mother was stroking my sister's fair hair ... and I did not know that in that place, at that moment, I was parting from my mother and Tzipora forever.
Elie and his father remain in Birkenau for three weeks. In August 1944, Elie and his father are marched to the work camp at Monowitz (also known as Buna or Auschwitz III), the largest Auschwitz sub-camp, which, according to the narrator, is a four-hour walk west of Auschwitz.
Sections 4 and 5 of the book are set in the Buna sub-camp, where Elie and his father remain until word of the Russian army approaching the camp prompts an evacuation of the camp.
As Wiesel recounts in section 6, in January, 1945, the Germans decide to abandon the concentration camps in Poland so that the approaching Russian army can't liberate the prisoners. The Germans put 60,000 prisoners on a thirty-five-mile "death march" to the train station at Gleiwitz, in southern Poland.
Section 7 is set in Gleiwitz, where the prisoners spend two days and nights in crowded, unheated barracks without food or water. The survivors are then loaded into cattle cars for the ten-day journey to the Buchenwald concentration camp in east-central Germany.
In section 8, still in Buchenwald, Elie's father dies from dysentery.
His last word was my name. A summons, to which I did not respond.
I did not weep, and it pained me that I could not weep. But I had no more tears. And, in the depths of my being, in the recesses of my weakened conscience, could I have searched for it, I might perhaps have found something like—free at last!
In the final section of the book, section 9, the 20,000 prisoners in Buchenwald have been given no food for six days, and some of the prisoners attack the guards and SS officers and take control of the camp. At six o'clock that evening, April 11, 1945, American tanks and troops arrive at Buchenwald and liberate the surviving prisoners, just three months after Elie's father died.