Night Group Timeline

  • Elie meets Moishe

    Elie meets Moishe and Moishe helps him study the Kabbalah. They often speak together in the synagogue about it.
  • Moishe is deported and returns

    Moishe and all the other foreign Jews in Sighet are deported and killed, but Moishe manages to escape and return to Sighet to warn the rest of the Jews. They do not listen to him and the year 1943 passes uneventfully.
  • The German Army arrives in Sighet

    The German Army arrives in Sighet and settle down in people's houses. They are "distant but polite."
  • Passover and arrests of Jewish community leaders

    On the seventh day of Passover, the Germans arrest the leaders of the Jewish community. Soon after that, edicts are released that limit the rights and mobility of the Jews.
  • More people move into Elie's ghetto

    The Jews of Sighet are forced to live in ghettos, and Elie's family already lives in one. They are joined by many new families, and they begin to govern themselves.
  • Transports begin

    Elie's father recieves the news at the Jewish council that the entire ghetto was to be liquidated immediately. That night, the inspector of the Hungarian police, who was a friend meant to warn the ghetto had there been danger, knocks on the window. By the time they open the window, he is gone.
  • Elie's family is moved to a smaller ghetto

    Elie's family is moved to a smaller ghetto. Although it is not guarded, instead of attempting escape they begin to prepare for their transports.
  • Elie and his family move to the synagogue

    Elie and his family have packed and prepared everything they think they will need, and at dawn on Saturday, they are moved to the main synagogue, where they wait to be transported. It is nasty and overcrowded there.
  • Elie and his family are transported

    On Sunday morning, Elie and his family go down to the station and board the train of sealed cattle cars. The train stops in Kaschau, and it is then that the Jews realize that they are not staying in Hungary. A German officer comes in and tells them what is going to happen, and their valubles are taken. Then, after a long day of listening to Mrs. Schachter, the train pulls into Birknau, the extermination camp within the Auschwitz complex.
  • Elie and his father are put to work in Auschwitz

    Elie and his family go through the selection process. Elie and his father lie about their ages and survive, while his mother and sister are led straight to the gas chambers. All their possessions are taken, their hair is cut, and they are given prison clothes. Then Elie is put to work.
  • Meir Katz saves Elie

    Elie is being strangled in the middle of the night, when Elie calles for his father, his father cannot help him. Elie's father calls out for his long-time best friend, Meir Katz, who fights off the attacker.
  • Nice Blockalteste is replaced

    The Blockalteste that Elie had for the first three weeks is judged too humane by his superiors and is replaced three weeks after Elie's arrival.
  • Elie and father are transported to Buna camp

    A few days after the nice Blockalteste is replaced, Elie, his father, and some other workers are sent to the Buna camp. They are put into tents to await their Kommando assignments. It is here that a shifty-eyed boy tries to bargain for Elie's shoes, but Elie refuses to give them up. He then goes in for a medical examination, where the doctor notes his gold crown.
  • Elie meets Juliek

    On Elie's fourth day in Buna, he, his father, and some others are taken to the orchestra block, where they learn to march in step. Juliek is one of the musicians, and when they leave the orchestra block he tells Elie that they are going to work in an electrical warehouse. He also tells him about Idek and his fits of rage. When they get to the warehouse, Elie meets Franek, the foreman, and the Czech brothers, Yossi and Tibi.
  • Elie is summoned to the dentist

    The dentist, having taken note of Elie's crown, calls him in to remove it be one day after work. Elie pretends to be sick, and two weeks later the doctor is discovered to have been stealing gold, and is thrown in jail.
  • Idek beats Elie

    One day, when Idek is in a fit of rage, Elie happens to come across his path, and suffers the consequences. When he is done, the French girl who apparently does speak German comes over and encourages him to save his anger for another day. They will meet again years later in a cafe in Paris.
  • Idek beats Elie's father

    One day when they are loading diesel motors onto freight cars, Idek gets angry again and starts hitting Elie's father with an iron bar. Elie is annoyed at his father for not being able to avoid Idek.
  • Elie catches Idek with a girl

    On their day off, Idek decides to make the Kommando go out to the depot. Elie wanders around and catches Idek with some girl on a straw mat. Idek sees him and threatens him. Then a couple hours later he whips him on a crate.
  • Franek wants Elie's crown

    Franek, who appeared friendly before, suddenly turns greedy when he asks for Elie's crown. When Elie refuses, he torments his father until Elie finally gives him the crown. Then all the Poles, including Franek, are transproted away two weeks later, much to Elie's frustration.
  • Bombing of the Buna factory

    One Sunday, there is an alert, and everyone gets inside a block, otherwise they are shot. One guy tries to go for the soup that someone left out, and it ends badly for him. He is the only victim of the air raid, which destroys the factory that Elie and his father worked in. Elie is very happy about this.
  • Young inmate is hanged

    One week after the air raid, a boy who is thought to have stolen something during it is hanged. This troubles Elie deeply. The inmates are all forced to look the corpse straight in the eye.
  • Young pipel is hanged

    A large Dutch Oberkapo is found to have possessed arms after the sabotage of Buna's electrical plant. He is tortured for weeks, then transported to Auschwitz. His young pipel remains behind, and is also tortured and silent. He is hanged in front of everyone, along with two others. He is too light to die right away, so he hangs there for a while, then dies.
  • Eve of Rosh Hashanah

    While everyone else is praying, Elie is angry at God for having done this to him, and he refuses to pray. He feels closer to his father at this point. The next day, Yom Kippur, Elie refuses to fast as well, and he feels empty.
  • Selection

    Elie has been transferred to a construction Kommando. When the selection takes place, he is told to run to make himself look healthier, and he passes the selection. A few days later, he finds out that his father did not pass. His father tries to give him his knife and spoon, but Elie refuses to take it. His father is still alive when he returns.
  • Elie's foot swells and he goes to the doctor

    The doctor decides to amputate Elie's foot. When Elie wakes up, he discovers that he did not amputate after all, and that his foot would be fine in two weeks.
  • Operation

    Elie's foot is operated on because he decides to stay in the inrfirmary. He just has to wait two weeks to be healthy again.
  • The Red Army comes to Buna

    Elie stumbles out of the hospital and returns to his block for supplies. His foot is still unhealed when they begin their march the next morning. It is snowing heavily when they leave.
  • Jews are Evacuted in Blizzard

    The Jews are evacuted from Buna and if any of them stop, they are immediately shot my a German soldier. Elie is weak and his injured foot gives him an urge to give up, but his father is his only motivation. The Jews run about forty-two miles until they reach an abandoned village.
  • At the Village

    Elie and his father stay near each other trying to stay awake, so they will not die of hypothermia. Rabbi Eliahu, an old man, is searching for his son and asks Elie if he knows where he is. Wiesel falsely tells him that he has not seen him, but sadly he did see him on the run. The son had abandoned his father by running ahead, thinking that the Rabbi would not survive. Elie prays that he will never betray his father, and always try his best to save him.
  • Arrival at Gleiwitz

    The next morning, the column sets off again. Many are killed from the cold, but running is no longer required. They arrive in the Gleiwitz camp at nightfall, and the Jews are quickly settled into overcrowded barracks. Elie and his father are almost crushed to death beneath the sheer mass of people, but Elie manages to find an airhole. He discovers that the person beneath him is Juliek, a boy from the Buna orchestra, who has brought his violin with him. He plays it that night, then dies.
  • The Jews are transported away from Gleiwitz

    The Jews are driven out of their barracks at dawn, and they take blankets with them as they leave. There is a quick selection, and Elie just barely manages to save his father from death. After a half-hour march, they arrive in a field, where they await their train. They are each given a ration of bread, but are not allowed to sit or bend over. They use their spoons to eat snow off each others' backs. Then they board the train, 100 per car.
  • Elie's father, Shlomo, is almost thrown off the train

    The train stops in an empty field, and the SS give the order to throw out all the dead. The "gravediggers" mistake Shlomo as dead, and almost toss him off, but Elie manages to wake him up before it is too late.
  • A German worker throws bread to the Jews

    A German laborer in one of the towns the train passes through notices the train car, and throws a piece of bread to the Jews. A battle ensues, a son kills his father over the bread, and is then killed himself. Some other Germans come to watch, but they don't do anything. Elie relates this experience to when he watches a Parisian lady throw coins at poor children in Aden.
  • Elie is almost strangled

    One night, Elie awakes to find someone strangling him, and he calls to his father for help. Shlomo, too weak to fight off the aggressor, calls Meir Katz, a friend from Buna, to help him. Elie is saved. A few days later, Meir Katz, who had been seen as the strongest of them all, breaks down in tears over his son.
  • Arrival at Buchenwald

    On the last day of the journey, someone calls out that they should not remain sitting, or they will freeze to death. Just then someone dies, and the others all imitate his cry. This sound spreads to all the cars. That night they arrive in Buchenwald. Only those who could stand could leave the train. Meir Katz decides to stay.
  • Finding a block in Buchenwald

    The Jews are told that they will be taking a shower before they are sent to their blocks. But the showers are overcrowded, and those who do not have the strength to stand sit down in the snow and die. Shlomo tries to do this, but Elie manages to get him up. Then there is an alert, and everyone is chased into a block to sleep in. Elie is seperated from his father.
  • Elie finds his father

    The next morning, Elie remembers his father, and goes to look for him. He finds him by the coffee line, and brings him some coffee. Shlomo is sick and has not been given food because it was considered a waste. Elie grudgingly gives him the rest of his ration. He feels like Rabbi Eliahu's son because he forgot his father.
  • Elie's father runs around crazily

    After Elie returns from his shower on the third day in Buchenwald, he notices his father running around and runs to meet him. When he tries to make him stop, his father does not recognize him, and runs away.
  • Elie's inheritance

    Shlomo had been suffering from dysentery, which was why he had been acting strangely earlier. He tells Elie where he hid their family's gold and silver before they left. This is a tell-tale sign that he has given up.
  • "My son, they are beating me..."

    Elie switches cots so as to be closer to his father. The surgeon refuses to help him, and the next doctor that comes is only "finishing off" some of the patients. Elie is filled with a murderous hatred of all these people. Shlomo confesses to Elie that his neighbors in the infirmary are beating him because he cannot stand up to "relieve himself." The following day, he complains that they have taken his ration of bread.
  • Stop giving up your food

    The Blockalteste comes to Elie and tells him that his father is not doing well at all, and that Elie should stop giving up his portions of food for him. Then Shlomo calls to Elie for water, and Elie brings it to him just in time for roll call. Elie pretends to be sick so that he won't have to leave his father, but Shlomo continues to call for water, and the officer taking roll orders him to be quiet. Shlomo cannot hear him, and recieves a blow to the head. Elie takes one last look at his father
  • Elie's father dies

    Elie finds that his father has been moved out of his bed, replaced by another sick man. Elie thinks "Free at last!," while at the same time feeling awful over his father's death.
  • Liquidation begins

    When Elie wakes up for roll call, his officer is late. The loudspeakers command all Jews to wait in the Appelplatz. Elie had been transferred to the children's block, and their Blockalteste allows them to remain inside and not get shot. The next day there is a general roll call, and liquidation begins. Every day a few thousand inmates were transported away and never heard from again.
  • Buchenwald is liberated

    It is decided that the remaining children in the camp, Elie among them, will be liquidated on this day. Just as the last of them are about to leave, the resistance movement decides to act, and soon the SS had fled. That afternoon, the Americans liberate Buchenwald.
  • Free

    The first thing the Jews do when freed is eat. Some even go into town to buy things, but no one is plotting any sort of revenge. Elie lands in the hospital from food poisoning and spends two weeks fighting between life and death. Once he is able to get up, he looks in a mirror for the first time since he left his home. He describes it as a corpse looking back at him from the mirror.