Moishe warns the Jews in Elie's village (Sighet) that the Nazi soldiers were coming for them, but they refused to believe him. Why?

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clane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Jews of Sighet didn't listen to Moishe because they didn't want to believe that there was any place in a world that was civilized that would do anything that he was describing.They certainly didn't want to believe that anyone would hurt another person just because they were Jewish. Elie states in the first chapter when he's talking about Moishe's crazy stories about the killing of Jews,

"And so we, the Jews of Sighet, waited for better days that surely were soon to come."

Elie, along with the rest of the Jews thought this silly war would never reach their own door steps, they believed they were immune to it and that it would be over before it would be something they would need to worry about.

amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Jews in Elie's village didn't listen for two reasons:  1. they didn't want to hear that such evil can exist in the world.  Many people heard the stories--Jews and nonJews alike--and many discounted them as untrue or as horrible fairy tales.  This is why there are so many accounts today of people saying the holocaust never happened.

2.  Moishe is a foreign Jew.  He did not have the same rights, respect, and privileges as the Jews who had been born and grew up in Sighet had.  They were more likely to think on him as crazy or discredit what he has to say because he is not one of them.