What did the Jews think might be the reason for their deportation?

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clane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I thought this part of the book was interesting because Elie observes that they all just continued to give in to each new request of the soldiers and each new request was a little more difficult to swallow than the last, but they all just thought they could wait it out and that nothing bad would happen to them. Afterall, none of them had any idea what was going on in the Jewish world in 1944. The result of their willingness to give in to the soldiers' request was their eventual suffering and death. When the soldiers, who they originally believed weren't that bad (after-all they did give chocolate to one of their own)asked them to pack their belongings for deportation, they were fearful, but not nearly fearful enough because they still felt a current of trust among the soldiers. They wanted nothing more than to believe that what the soldiers told them was the truth, that they would be moving the Jews farther away from the advancing front to keep them safe. They got to pack a few of their belongings and they would be traveling by train so they felt that they weren't in any immediate danger and the reasoning behind the move seemed logical enough for the Jews to swallow.

cmcqueeney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Part One of the book, the Jews contemplate why they are being deported.  They have been told it is because the front is too close.  Many of them believe this and say they are being deported for their own good, to be kept safe.  Others believe they are being deported to keep them from helping the other side.  Still others believe they are being deported so that the Germans can steal their belongings.