What advice does Eliezer’s cousin from Antwerp give his father in Night? How is it like the advice the Polish prisoner offers?

Eliezer’s cousin from Antwerp advises Eliezer’s father to eat and keep his strength up so he will not be selected for the crematorium. He also says that only hope of seeing his family again motivates him to carry on. The Polish prisoner has similar advice and attitudes. He encourages them not to despair or give up and to help each other to avoid the crematorium.

Expert Answers

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Eliezer and his father meet their relative from Antwerp and the Polish prisoner in charge of their group soon after they arrive in Auschwitz (chapter 3). Stein is a cousin by marriage, whose wife is Eliezer's mother’s niece. He seeks them out to ask if they have any news of his wife and children; he hopes they are still in Belgium. After Eliezer lies and says his mother heard they are fine, he befriends the father and son, often bringing them bits of bread. He confesses that he himself only keeps going because, having heard the good news of his family’s survival, he can look forward to reunited with them. His advice is to eat as much as possible, as the unfit prisoners are the ones selected for the crematorium.

The Polish prisoner, who is in charge of the prisoners in their barracks, gives a speech about hope and cooperation when they first arrived. His comments and advice were similar to those that Stein expressed. He likewise reminds them that selection is an ever-present cloud over their heads, and encourages them to work together to avoid them. He also recommends that they try to drive away despair because it will sap their will to live.

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