In "Night", what are the prisioners forced to give up in Kaschau?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At Kaschau the prisoners are forced to give up all their possessions. Up until that time most of them had tried to ration their provisions; "to save was our rule, to save up for tomorrow...tomorrow might be worse". It is only when the train into which they are packed arrives at Kaschau that the prisoners realize that they are not going to stay in Hungary, and that, at the complete mercy of the Germans, there is little hope for them.

The Germans leave little doubt about what will be the prisoners' fate when the boxcar door slides open at Kaschau. An officer immediately announces,

"From this moment, you come under the authority of the German army. Those of you who still have gold, silver, or watches in your possession must give them up now. Anyone who is later found to have kept anything will be shot on the spot".

A Hungarian lieutenant then goes among the prisoners with a basket and collects "the last possessions from those who no longer (wish) to taste the bitterness of terror" (Chapter 2).