Eliezer's father, Chlomo, was a business man in Sighet. This afforded him a high status amongst the people in the community.
Early on in the narrative, Eliezer speaks about his father's profession when he says, "My father took care of his business and the community." This reflects a condition of social power that Chlomo has in Sighet. We see further evidence of this as the Nazis assert their control over the town:
Some prominent members of the community came to consult with my father, who had connections at the upper levels of the Hungarian police; they wanted to know what he thought of the situation. My father's view was that it was not all bleak, or perhaps he just did not want to discourage the others, to throw salt on their wounds...
Chlomo's position in the business sector afforded him connections with those in the positions of political power. This enhances his place in the Sighet community. When the situation increases in desperation, Chlomo is "summoned to a special meeting of the Council," another example of how he is admired and respected in the community. He is one of the first to report the news of how the families in Sighet will have to go on the transports to the various death camps. His position as a businessman translates to his perception as a leader of the town.
Finally, Chlomo's respect extends to the Hungarian Police. As Chlomo reports about the transports, there is a knock on the window from a friend who works in the Hungarian police. He says to Chlomo, "Don't worry. I'll warn you if there is danger." The fact that Chlomo has such friends reflects his position in the Sighet community.