In Night by Elie Wisel, what optimism does the Kahn family show?
In the opening chapter of his memoir Night Elie Wiesel describes life in his small village of Sighet in Transylvania, Hungary during World War II. Although rumors of the Nazi cruelty to the Jews repeatedly surfaces in the town, most people remain optimistic. Reports that the Germans are losing the war and that Hungary will go untouched bolster the confidence of the villagers. This attitude wanes in the spring of 1944 with reports from Budapest that Fascists have taken over the government and allowed German troops on Hungarian soil. Anti-semitic attacks plague the capital and when German troops arrive in Sighet "anguish" rules the day.
At first the Germans are relatively benign and are even housed with Jewish families. They are undemanding and sometimes smile at the women. The Kahns are such a family and it is revealed that the German commander staying with them is "charming," "calm" and "likable." He even brings Mrs. Kahn a box of chocolates. Despite impending doom, the Jews are optimistic. Soon, the evacuations begin and the Jews of the town are dispersed to the concentration camps of Poland and Germany.