Why are the spirits among the Jews of Sighet relatively high at the beginning of Elie Wiesel's Night?

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Despite outright warnings and omens of disaster, the Jews of Sighet, the Transylvanian town where Elie Wiesel grew up, refuse to acknowledge the imminent danger they face. In the first few pages of Wiesel's memoir he doesn't even mention the war. It intrudes abruptly when Moshe the Beadle is deported along with other foreign-born Jews. When Moshe miraculously returns, he reports on the atrocities he witnessed and the incredible cruelty of the Nazis. The townspeople don't believe Moshe and won't even listen to his warnings. Moshe's story is soon forgotten, and Elie says life went back to normal as news from the war was good and it seemed the Nazis were destined for defeat. Some said, "Hitler won't be able to do us any harm, even if he wants to." The Jews cannot fathom that the Germans could actually exterminate an entire race of people.

Although it seems the war may be drawing to a close, "disturbing news" about the Germans occupying Hungary reaches Sighet. Again people express disbelief that anything will happen. They say, "The Germans won't get as far as this." Elie says that "optimism" returned. Soon, however, Germans begin to filter into the town, but even then, at the height of "anxiety" and "anguish," the Jews remain in denial. Some claim the Germans are benign and there's even a report that they have given Madame Kahn "a box of chocolates." They say,

"Well, there you are, you see! What did we tell you? You wouldn't believe us. There are your Germans! What do you think of them? Where is their famous cruelty?"

Even after the Jews...

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