Why didn't Elie have to turn in his new shoes in Night?  

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In the book Night, by Elie Wiesel , Elie, a young Jewish boy, is sent to work in a concentration camp called Auschwitz. Upon arriving at the concentration camp, people must forfeit all possessions, including clothing. After the clothing is taken from the people arriving at the camp, the...

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In the book Night, by Elie Wiesel, Elie, a young Jewish boy, is sent to work in a concentration camp called Auschwitz. Upon arriving at the concentration camp, people must forfeit all possessions, including clothing. After the clothing is taken from the people arriving at the camp, the people are given striped pants and shirts to wear while working and living in the camp.

Some prisoners would trade things with the guards to earn things like food. Elie did not ever trade his shoes, because he liked them. These shoes were something that belonged to Elie and reminded him of his home. He also knew that the prisoners were forced to walk and to do manual labor that would be made easier with comfortable, sturdy shoes.

While working in the camps, a prisoner functionary, also known as a Kapos, would walk around the barracks at night looking to see if any prisoners had anything of value worth stealing. Elie managed to keep his shoes very dirty and muddy so that they looked old and worn down. Because of his shoes' appearance, no one took them.

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Upon arriving at Birkenau, the reception center for Auschwitz concentration camp, Elie, his father, and the others that arrived on the transport are stripped of their possessions.  The men are ordered to remove their clothing, trading them for the "stripes" (striped pants and shirts) that they will wear for the duration of their time in the camp.  Carrying their belts and shoes, they are then sent to have their heads shaved and to be "disinfected".

Later, when they make it to the barracks, Kapos would frequently walk through to inspect to see if the prisoners had anything worth taking.  Prisoners often had to surrender new shoes or face severe beatings.  Luckily for Elie, his shoes are covered in mud, so the soldiers do not notice that they are new.  This is helpful, as the prisoners must walk quite a bit and the new shoes will prove sturdy for the multiple journeys.

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