When Elie and his father arrived at Buchenwald, they were all weak, tired and emaciated. A siren at the camp made Elie forget his father, and instead he rushed into the barracks with the mob. In the morning Elie looked for his father and a thought crossed his mind. He wished that he did not find his father because the situation would relieve him of the responsibility and allow him to focus on his own survival. Elie felt ashamed of himself, and the guilt of his thoughts followed him even after his father’s death.
In another instance, Elie grudgingly gave his father some soup after he realized that his father was not given any food. The situation reminded him of Rabbi Eliahu’s son, who left his father behind during the march out of Buna. According to Elie, he had failed the test just like the Rabbi’s son. The Blockalteste in Buchenwald made matters worse by asking Elie to abandon his father and take his ration of food. The thought that he could take his father’s portion of food left Elie feeling guilty.