Why are the Jews of Sighet optimistic about the news they hear on the radio in late 1942 and 1943?
The Jews of the Transylvanian town of Sighet heard contrasting news about the war in 1942 and 1943. On one hand, the "London radio" brought news that suggested the German army was in retreat and would eventually be defeated. The Allies were bombing inside Germany and at Stalingrad, where the Germans would eventually lose a decisive battle. A second front was also mentioned (the Allies did open a second front, first in Italy and then in France). The Jews were optimistic as they could not imagine the war reaching their town. They believed "better days" were just on the horizon.
In contrast, Moshe the Beadle recounts the horrible and, for the townspeople, unbelievable story of the atrocities in the forest of Galicia. Moshe escaped the atrocities where, according to Moshe, Jews were made to dig their own graves and babies used as targets for the Gestapo machine guns. The Jews in Sighet ignore Moshe and amazingly remain optimistic well into 1944, remaining in a state of denial even after German troops move into their houses.