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

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holfie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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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Night

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