Author Elie Wiesel was a Holocaust survivor who wrote Night, a book about his experiences in the death camps during World War II. On the journey to the camp, he writes of his family:
My father was crying. It was the first time I saw him cry. I had never thought it possible. As for my mother, she was walking, her face a mask, without a word, deep in thought. I looked at my little sister, Tzipora, her blond hair neatly combed, her red coat over her arm: a little girl of seven. On her back a bag too heavy for her. She was clenching her teeth; she already knew it was useless to complain.
The only members of his family that he mentions here are his father, his mother, and Tzipora, all of whom perished in the camp. When they arrived, an SS officer commanded, "Men to the left! Women to the right!"
Eight words spoken quietly, indifferently, without emotion. Eight simple, short words. Yet that was the moment when I left my mother.
He never sees his mother again, as she perishes in the camp along with his sweet baby sister. He says of himself and his father,
we were alone. In a fraction of a second I could see my mother, my sisters, move to the right. Tzipora was holding Mother's hand. I saw them walking farther and farther away…
As they get “farther and farther away,” they recede in reality. In other words, this scene foreshadows their actual death and the fact that Elie never sees them again. He then says, “I didn't know that this was the moment in time and the place where I was leaving my mother and Tzipora forever.”
Because they were separated as soon as they arrived, Elie did not know for sure that his mother and sister perished in the camps until the war ended. By the time he wrote Night, however, he knew. He says of Tzipora's murder,
incredibly, the vanishing of a beautiful, well-behaved little Jewish girl with golden hair and a sad smile, murdered with her mother the very night of their arrival?
In the beginning of the book, Wiesel writes that in response to the law stating that Jews must wear Jewish stars on their outer garments, his father said, "'The yellow star? So what? It's not lethal," to which Elie the writer responds, "(Poor Father! Of what then did you die?)” This latter sentence foreshadows his father’s eventual death in the camps.
In the camp, Elie and his friend Juliek watch a hanging. Juliek whispers, “Will it be over soon?" Again, this is foreshadowing Juliek’s own imminent death: When Elie, Juliek, and others are being crushed together and gasping for air, Elie hears a violin, in the “dark barrack where the dead were piled on top of the living.” It is Juliek, playing a fragment of a Beethoven concerto. Juliek soon dies.
Rabbi Eliahu's story also foreshadows Elie’s self-recriminations about his treatment of his own father, whom he loves dearly. Elie recalls that Rabbi Eliahu's son had seen his father fall behind and let “the distance between them become greater...He had felt his father growing weaker and...thought by this separation to free himself of a burden that could diminish his own chance for survival.”
Then Elie writes,
And in spite of myself, a prayer formed inside me, a prayer to this God in whom I no longer believed. "Oh God, Master of the Universe, give me the strength never to do what Rabbi Eliahu's son has done."
This is also foreshadowing of sorts because once his father dies, Elie has the same feeling of liberation. So, essentially, Elie does behave in a manner that is similar to Rabbi Eliahu’s son. He writes,
I did not weep, and it pained me that I could not weep. But I had no more tears. And, in the depths of my being, in the recesses of my weakened conscience, could I have searched it, I might perhaps have found something like: Free at last!