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A few days prior to this, the camp went through a selection process. Certain names were written down. Those whose names were written down were presumably to be sent to death. Elie's father noted that he passed. But a few days later, he learned that Dr. Mengele had written his name down. Fearing that he might be sent away or to his death, Elie's father gave him the knife and spoon because he wouldn't be needing them anymore. It was also a genuine and sad gesture as this was all he had to give his son at this tragic moment.
"Look, take this knife," he said to me." I don't need it any longer. It might be useful to you. And take this spoon as well. Don't sell them. Quickly! Go on. Take what I'm giving you!"
That day, his father stayed at camp with the others who had been selected. Elie was treated well by everyone. They sympathized with him thinking that his father would be sent to death. Being treated kindly, Elie thought, "even now, my father is still helping me." When the workday was over, Elie ran to Block 36 to find his father still alive and gave him back the knife and spoon.
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