In Night, what did author Elie Wiesel's father do when his name was written down during a selection?

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kathik eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Night by Elie Wiesel, after Elie and his father have been at the concentration camp Buna for awhile, a selection occurs. Elie passes it, and his father thinks he also has made it through. However, several days later, when the prisoners are getting ready to leave for work, a group of them are told to stay behind. They are the ones who had been marked for death in the earlier selection. Elie's father runs toward him to tell Elie that he was told to stay back with them. He had been selected but hadn't realized it because he never saw the Nazis write down his name. Now, there is little time left to say all he wants to say to his son. He gives Elie his spoon and his knife. Elie calls it "the inheritance" because his father is giving him his most prized possessions.

"I'm asking this of you...Take them. Do as I ask, my son. We have no time...Do as your father asks" (Wiesel 71).

While Elie is at work that day, another selection is held, and this time Elie's father passes, so when Elie returns, he is able to give the utensils back to his father.