Who is trampled to death in the book?

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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At the end of chapter 5, the Jewish prisoners are forced to evacuate the camp when the Nazis receive word that the Russians are rapidly approaching. The emaciated, exhausted Jewish prisoners are forced to march forty-two miles through the night in the middle of a snowstorm. During the arduous journey, a young Polish boy named Zalman suffers from stomach cramps and stops marching. When he stops marching, the other prisoners trample him to death. When they finally arrive at an abandoned warehouse, the Jewish prisoners pack together and an old man named Rabbi Eliahu approaches Elie and asks if he has seen his son. Elie replies that he has not and suddenly remembers that he had seen Rabbi Eliahu's son running beside him, hoping to leave his father behind. However, Rabbi Eliahu does not get trampled by the moving prisoners and survives the journey. Countless unnamed prisoners fall to the side of the trial or get trampled by the other prisoners during the death march in the middle of the night. The only prisoner specifically mentioned who gets trampled to death is Zalman.

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Mike Rosenbaum eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Rabbi Eliahou, whose son has run ahead of his ailing father, is one of many men who get run over during the death march. When Elie sees this example of selfish abandonment, he is ashamed of his own feelings. He has been angry with his father, frustrated by his father's age and weakness. Seeing this situation, however, renews his loyalty, allows Elie to overcome the frustration and fear and remain by his father's side.

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dpenn2 | Student

Zalman, the "young Polish lad" (p. 81) is trampled to death in the book. He was running with Eliezer at the start of the death march, but "was suddenly seized with a cramp in the stomach" (p. 82). Eliezer tries to encourage him to continue on, however, he falls to ground in pain and is trampled to death by the other prisoners running behind them. 

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