How do the prisoners in Eliezer's block survive the Mew Year's selection in Night?

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Shortly after New Years, the SS officers prohibit the Jewish prisoners from leaving the block after the distribution of the evening soup and rumors of an upcoming selection begin to circulate throughout the concentration camp. The selection process is when a Nazi doctor briefly examines the prisoners and sends the...

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Shortly after New Years, the SS officers prohibit the Jewish prisoners from leaving the block after the distribution of the evening soup and rumors of an upcoming selection begin to circulate throughout the concentration camp. The selection process is when a Nazi doctor briefly examines the prisoners and sends the extremely frail or unhealthy prisoners to the crematorium. Before the selection process begins, Elie's Blockälteste advises the prisoners to limber up in order to give their bodies more color, which will increase their odds of surviving the selection. He also instructs the prisoners to run as fast as they can when they are called in front of the Nazi officers while purposely avoiding eye contact. His last piece of advice to the prisoners is to not be afraid, which is something Elie finds impossible to follow. Elie and the other prisoners follow the advice and sprint when their numbers are called to appear healthier and increase their chances of survival. Fortunately, Elie survives the selection process by running like the wind and exhausting his energy.

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The prisoners run about before the selection process, trying to get some color in their flesh. The more color they have, the more healthy they will appear. This will ensure that they are chosen for work and not the crematory.

Also, when the selection process begins, the prisoners run by Mengele as quickly as possible. They want to appear healthy and they also are running quickly so Mengele cannot notice their numbers. Remember, the prisoners are known only by their number. If Mengele does not see their number, he will not be able to write down their numbers. In this way, the prisoners stand a better chance at not being selected for the crematory.

In one selection process, Elie Wiesel lies about his age and he tells the selection committee that he is a farmer. A farmer has a better chance at being chosen to work. In this way, Elie will escape the crematory for the time being.

 

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