When Moishe the Beadle returns to Sighet after being taken away by the Hungarian police, he tries to warn the Jews of Sighet of the atrocities that were already taking place. He told anyone who would listen that the Hungarian Jews had been transported into Poland, turned over to the Gestapo, and
were forced to dig huge trenches. When they had finished their work, the men from the Gestapo began theirs. Without passion or haste, they shot their prisoners, who were forced to approach the trench one by one and offer their necks.
The Jews in Sighet refused to believe Moishe and continued to live in Sighet and in prayer that the fighting and the horror would not affect them.
Elie suggested to his father in the spring of 1944 that he purchase emigration certificates to allow the family to relocate to Palestine. Elie's father refused, saying he was too old to make such a change.
The night that Elie's father is given the word that the Jews were to be transported away from the ghetto, there was a knocking on an outside window, facing the world outside the enclosed area of the ghetto, of the house in which the Wiesels were living. After the war, Elie learned
It was an inspector of the Hungarian police, a friend of my father's. Before we entered the ghetto, he had told us, "Don't worry. I'll warn you if there is danger."...by the time we succeeded in opening the window, it was too late. There was nobody outside.