Why are spirits among the Jews of Sighet relatively high at the beginning of Night?

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stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Hungarian Jews, those whose families were natives of Hungary, felt they were safe and protected from the threat represented by the rising power and actions of the Gestapo and the Nazis. Even when the foreign Jews living in Sighet were arrested and transported away, those who remained behind maintained their optimism about the future of those who had been transported: "it was rumored that they were in Glaicia, working, and even that they were content with their fate."

When Moishe returned to Sighet, the stories he told of what had actually happened to those deported from the village were too terrifying to be believed. The Hungarian Jews

not only refused to believe his tales, they refused to listen. Some even insinuated that he only wanted their pity, that he was imagining things. Others flatly said that he had gone mad.

They continued to tell themselves that they were safe, that there was no real danger or threat, and so life could contine as it always had, dealing with day-to-day activities of family and business, discussing "strategy, diplomacy, politics, and Zionism- but not...their own fate."

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