Who was knocking on the window of the Wiesel house in Night?  

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

After Elie's father returns from the community council, he tells his family that there are rumors that there will be transports and each person will only be allowed to bring small personal possessions with them on the journey. The night before Elie and his family are herded into cattle cars headed towards Auschwitz, a relative living with Elie's family hears someone knocking on their window. Elie mentions that after the war he discovered that a Hungarian police officer, who was friends with his father, was knocking on their window. The Hungarian officer had told Elie's father before they entered the ghetto that he would warn them if they were going to be in danger. Elie mentions that in hindsight, his family might have been able to flee before the transports and avoid being sent to the concentration camps.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

A Hungarian police inspector knocks on the window to warn Wiesel’s family to escape before the Nazis come and take them to a concentration camp.

When Wiesel and his family know they will be forced to move, and their possessions “had to be handed over to the authorities, under penalty of death” (p. 11).  The family lives in Serpent Street, which is in the first ghetto, so they are able to stay in their house and take in relatives.  Then, they are forced to leave the large ghetto and sent to the smaller one, where the people have mysteriously left.  One night, there is a knocking on the door.

Suddenly, Batia Reich, a relative who lived with us, entered the room: “Someone is knocking at the sealed window, the one that faces outside.” (p. 14)

Later, Wiesel finds out who knocked. It was an “inspector of the Hungarian police” who is a friend of his father’s.  He knew what was happening and tried to warn them.


Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial