Elie's father, as did most of the adult Jews in Sighet, spent the early years of the war assuring themselves that they would not be affected by the fighting. They told each other that they were protected by the distance between Sighet and the borders of Poland, that there were too many Jews for the Nazis to be able to carry out all the horrific threats and rumors, that there might be inconvenience but nothing more.
When the order to prepare for transportation came to the ghetto, Elie's father didn't have time to cry at first. He was too busy trying to alert the others and help those who were transported on the first day prepare. On the morning when Elie and his family had to leave their family home, however, Elie's father could no longer restrain himself.
I did not want to look at my parents' faces. I did not want to break into tears...Finally, the order came: "Forward! March!" My father was crying. It was the first time I saw him cry.