In "The Devil's Arithmetic," why does everyone in the wedding party follow the soldiers orders, and why doesn't anyone refuse to get on the trucks?
In "The Devil's Arithmetic," as with other novels about this time period, you must understand that the elders in the Jewish community encouraged the youth not to rebel. It was their hope that by obeying, they would be eventually released. It makes sense to us that they had sheer numbers-- the Jewish people could have outnumbered and perhaps overpowered the guards at any one collection point. There were millions of people taken to concentration camps across Europe. Some would have died in a rebellion, but nothing like the numbers who were killed in gas chambers and by other methods over the years which span the war. However, the Jewish people and other victims could not know that Hitler's goal was to exterminate the entire Jewish population. The Jewish people were and are peaceful people. For the sake of their children and loved ones, they followed the orders of the soldiers who were heavily armed and who did not hesitate to shoot dissenters down in the street.