Night Chapter 7
On the train ride, dead corpses are thrown out. Two prisoners try to throw Elie's father out but Elie convinces the men that his father is still alive. In all, twenty bodies are thrown out of the train, "leaving behind it a few hundred naked dead, deprived of burial, in the deep snow of a field in Poland." (Chapter 7, pg. 94) As they have no rations, the only food available is snow. After ten days of travel, a German workman throws a piece of bread into the passing wagon. There is a stampede for the morsel of bread. The German workman finds the melee interesting. (Elie Wiesel recalls years later, at Aden, a similar situation where some woman throws coins for the native boys). Elie even witnesses a boy named Meir kill his own father over a piece of bread. After the son seizes the bread from his father, he too is killed by other hungry prisoners. Elie watches the resulting sight with horror: "When they withdrew, next to me were two corpses, side by side, the father and the son. I was fifteen years old." Chapter 7, pg. 96
One night, on the train ride, a stranger tries to strangle Elie. His father call for his friend, Meir Katz, and he comes and saves Elie. Although Meir Katz is the most robust of them all, he begins to lose hope. After keeping his emotions in check up to this time, Meir Katz finally weeps over his son, a victim of the first selection. As an icy wind starts to blow, someone dying lets out a loud wail. It becomes contagious and soon, everyone starts to cry and wail. Elie can only dread: "All limits had been passed. No one had any strength left. And again the night would be long." Chapter 7, pg. 98 At last, the train reaches its final destination, Buchenwald. Meir Katz does not make it. A hundred prisoners begin the trip; only a dozen survive, including Elie and his father.