Shortly after the Nazis arrive in the small town of Sighet, they force the Jewish citizens to reside in two lower-class housing tenements called ghettos. While Elie and his family are living in the small ghetto, he recalls their former Christian servant, Maria, visiting them. When Maria enters the ghetto and sees Elie's family, she immediately begins to weep. Maria begs Elie's family to leave the ghetto and follow her to her village, where she had prepared a safe shelter for them to hide in until the Nazis leave. Unfortunately, Elie's father refuses to follow Maria and insists on staying with his wife and children. Elie's father's decision to stay in the ghetto has tragic consequences as his family is separated and transported to the Auschwitz concentration camp. Maria's warnings and opportunity to escape could have possibly saved Elie's family from experiencing the horrors of the Holocaust.