In "Night," when do the Jews realize they are going to die?the answer has to be between the passage on pg. 33 'saturday, the day of rest, was chosen for our expulsion...' and pg. 45...

In "Night," when do the Jews realize they are going to die?

the answer has to be between the passage on pg. 33 'saturday, the day of rest, was chosen for our expulsion...' and pg. 45 'never shall i forget...'

Expert Answers
Jamie Wheeler eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While the Jews may have had their fate confirmed by the point in the memoir to which you point, I would argue that such knowledge actually comes much earlier in the narrative.  As the doomed are crowded into the trains, ousted from their homes in the Sighet Ghetto by the Gestapo, one woman, Madame Schachter, knows what is to come.  Wiesel's group is not the first, nor the last, to be marked for explusion, and the news has filtered down, although it is so revolting that no one wants to believe it. 

The train rumbles on.  Madames Schachter's fears intensify with each passing mile.  She loses her mind, screaming, "Fire!  I can see a fire!...Flames, flames everywhere!"  What she is seeing in her mind's eye are the crematories where most are destined to die.

The others in the train react violently.  The strike her repeatedly with "blows that might have killed her."  Their brutual reaction reveals their fear and knowledge of what is surely to come. 

cmcqueeney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When the Jews first arrive at the concentration camp, they are separated and put into different lines.  Someone near the narrator whispers that they are going to the crematory.  As they get closer and closer to the crematory, someone actually begins praying the Kaddish, which is the prayer for the dead.  This is a prayer that is usually spoken for a dead person, but the Jews were praying it for themselves, indicating that they were acknowledging that they believed they were going to die.