What was the setting and the year for the first section of the book? What was happening in Europe at the time?
Night by Elie Wiesel is a first person memoir detailing Wiesel's experience of the Holocaust as a Hungarian Jew. The story begins in 1941 in Wiesel's hometown of Sighet that was originally part of the Hungary but is now part of present-day Romania. The first major impact of the Nazis on the town was when Wiesel's teacher Moshe was deported, and destined for a concentration camp, but managed to escape the Nazis, return to Sighet, and warn his fellow Jews what was in store for them. Slowly, the Jews suffered increasing civic disabilities, being isolated into ghettos, deprived of property and civil liberties, and forced to wear yellow stars.
In 1944, Wiesel and his family were sent to the infamous concentration camp of Auschwitz in Poland, where his mother and sister were killed and he and his father endured slavery and forced labor. In 1945, as the Russian Army advanced, father and son were evacuated to the Buchenwald camp in Germany; although the father died on the forced march, the son survived to be liberated on April 11, 1945.
The main events of the book, therefore, are the rise of the Nazis and World War II.