What does Madame Schacter see in her vision and how do the other people in the train car react to her?What does this say about human nature?

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pirateteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Madame Schächter is an older Jewish woman from Sighet who is deported on the same rain as Elie.  She is described as a "quiet woman with tense, burning eyes" who has already lost her husband and son to the camps.  The people in the car believe that she is crazy because she screams about seeing fire.

"Jews, listen to me! I can see a fire! There are huge flames! It is a huge furnace!

At first the people in the train ignore and dismiss her warnings, but as the trains pull up to Auschwitz, her prophecy seems to come true. As the people in the train look out, they see the smoke from the crematoriums. As the notice the flames themselves, she yells again:

"Jews, look! Look through the window! Flames! Look!"

As they departed the train, they looked back at her holding onto small son's hand and know that she was right.