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(Ch.1) Describe Elie's family. How many siblings does he have, and of which gender? How do Elie and his family members spend their time?

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(Ch.1) Describe Elie's family. How many siblings does he have, and of which gender? How do Elie and his family members spend their time?

His father was often more worried about others than his family. He had two older sisters, Hilda and Bea, and a younger sister Tzipora. His parents owned a store, while Elie studies religious texts and school

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(Ch.1) What does Elie's father discourage him from doing, and why?

His father discourages him from studying Kabbalah because he is too young.

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(Ch.1) What reason to pray does Moishe offer to Elie?

Moishe says that praying brings man closer to God through the questions he asks. Moishe prays for strength to ask Him the real question.

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(Ch.1) Where does Moishe go, and what does everyone think of him after his return? What story does he tell?

Moishe was taken away by the Hungarian police. When he returns, no one believes his stories and no one wanted to listen or give pity to him. They said it was his imagination and he was going mad. He said that they were shuffled around until they were in the Galician forest digging trenches. Then they were killed, and babies were used as machine gun targets by being thrown in the air and shot, but somehow Moishe managed to escape.

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(Ch.1) Why don't the Jewish residents of Sighet flee to protect their safety as explained on pages 8-10?

When the German soldiers came and stayed in their homes, they were nice and pleasant so no one was worried. Elie's father said he was too old to move and begin a new life somewhere else.

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(Ch.1) Cite at least three examples of the ways the Jewish citizens of Sighet begin to lose their rights.

They lost the right to go to frequent restaurants/cafes, to travel by train, attend the Synagogue, to go on the streets past 6pm and to own gold, jewelry, or any other valuables.

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(Ch.1) Why does the inspector from the Hungarian police knock on the boarded window of the Wiesel household?

He was a friend of Elie's father and he was trying to warn them of danger. If they had been quicker they might have been able to flee in time.

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(Ch.1) Describe the conditions on the train at the end of the chapter?

They were placed in cattle cars, 80 people per car. They were given bread and pales of water and put one person in charge of each car. If anyone was missing/escaped, that person would be shot.

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(Ch.1) Why doesn't Elie do anything to stop Moishe from being deported?

"It's just war," it is how it is. Plus they heard rumors that those deportees were content with where they are.

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(Ch.1) Why do the Jews of Sighet ignore the reality of their perilous circumstances following the arrival of the German soldiers?

They continue to have hope and try to be optimistic. The German soldiers seemed pleasant and kind of actually nice, so what was there to be worried about?

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(Ch.1) "The Germans were already in our town, the Fascists were already in power, the verdict was already out- and the Jews of Sighet were still smiling." pg. 10

This shows how the Jews were so naive about what was happening.

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(Ch.1) "The ghetto was ruled by neither German nor Jew; it was ruled by delusion." pg. 12

This shows how the Jews were naive and so trusting even when they were being shut up into little crammed areas.

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(Ch.2) Who is Mrs. Schaechter, and what does she see? What do the train passengers do to her?

She was a mother on the train who was separated from her family. She kept saying she was seeing fire and 2 lights in a row. The other passengers beat her and gagged her to make he stay quiet.

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(Ch.2) Where does the train stop?

The train stopped in Auschwitz and then Birkenau.

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(Ch.2) "Our eyes opened. Too late." pg 23

They realized what was actually happening too late. In this context they were not staying in Hungary.

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(Ch.3) When questioned by Dr. Mengele, why does Elie lie about his age and occupation? What does he claim to be his occupation?

He says he is 18 and is a farmer because another man came by and told him to change his age.

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(Ch.3) Why is Elie so thankful that his shoes are covered in mud?

He's thankful because since his shoes were covered in mud they did not notice that they were new and so he didn't have to hand them over.

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(Ch.3) Elie experiences the first incident from which he can identify change in himself. What happens?

Elie's father asks the Gypsy who is in charge where the toilet was and he just slapped his father and he fell to the ground. Elie realized that he didn't even flinch when his father was slapped.

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(Ch.3) What piece of irony does Elie identify as he marches between the barbed wire?

Elie finds the signs that read "Warning! Danger of Death!" ironic because everywhere is a a dangers resulting in death for them there.

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(Ch.3) What is Elie's first impression of Auschwitz after leaving Birkenau?

Elie's first impression is that it is an improvement in the conditions they're in now. The buildings are nicer and there are even small gardens of flowers here and there.

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(Ch.3) What advice does the young Pole give to the new prisoners regarding how to "move away from death" and "survive"?

He tells them that by "driving out despair" you move away from death, and the only way to survive is to have camaraderie among them because they share the same fate, so they must help each other.

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(Ch.3) What new identification does Elie receive?

They tattooed his new name, A-7713 onto his left arm, which is his only means of identification now.

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What lie does Ellie tell Stein, and why? What becomes of this lie?

Elie lies and tells Stein that he did get knews about his wife and kids and that they're fine because he didn't want to tell him that they hadn't heard from them since 1940. Later, when he goes to hear to news from the transport from Antwerp, he learned the truth and Elie never saw him again.

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(Ch.3) What new camp does Elie enter at the end of this chapter?

Elie enters Buna.

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(Ch.3) On page 45, Akiba speaks of "killing the Satan within ourselves." What connection can you draw between this statement and one of the prominent symbols of Lord of the Flies?

It's like the Lord of the Flies in the book, how they wanted to "kill the beast."

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(Ch.3) "Never shall I forget that first night, the first night in the camp, that turned my life into one long night seven times sealed." pg 34

This passage is very powerful in that it talks about how it was like one never ending nightmare.

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(Ch.4) What is the real objective of the medical examination? How do you know?

The real purpose was to check for gold teeth because that's all they did during the examination.

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(Ch.4) Why aren't Juliek and the musicians allowed to play Beethoven?

Jews are not allowed to play German music.

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(Ch.4) How does Elie avoid the removal of his gold crown?

Elie tells the dentist he doesn't fell well, and continued to until the dentist was shut down and he was about to be hung.

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(Ch.4) How does Elie describe how he has changed as a human being on page 52? What is most important to him now? How does he measure time?

All that mattered was his daily bowl of soup and crust of stale bread. His stomach would tell the time for him.

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(Ch.4) As Idek brutally beats Elie's father, he becomes angry. With whom is he angry? What does this say about his character development?

While Idek is beating Elie's father, Elie realizes he's angry with his father for not staying away from Idek's wrath. This shows how much life in the concentration camp has changed him.

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(Ch.4) What does Franek do to force Elie to allow him to remove his gold crown?

After Elie refuses, Franek punches and slaps his father while they were marching because his father struggled with marching on beat, and eventually Elie gives in.

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(Ch.4) When one prisoner is hanged for stealing, two other prisoners assist in his hanging. Why do the two prisoners help the guards hang him? What does this suggest about the prisoner's humanity?

The two prisoners help hang him in exchange for 2 bowls of soup. This suggests that the prisoners' humanity changed that means for themselves to survive was all that mattered.

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(Ch.4) How do you see Elie's description of the soup changing in this chapter? What might be suggesting about his humanity and his circumstances?

ELie grows to be much more fond of the soup. In the beginning he refused to eat it because he didn't like it, but now, under the circumstances, every bowl tastes better than the last.

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(Ch.4) "'For God's sake, where is God?" And from within me, I heard a voice answer: 'Where is he? This is where hanging here from this gallows...'" pg 65

This is after they watch the man being hung for stealing, and he's saying how he thinks god is dead and gone, unresponsive, just like the man hanging dying there.

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(Ch.5) What clear understanding do Elie and his father find in each other?

Elie and his father come to the clear understanding that neither are really enthusiastic about the holiday because they both are losing hope and their faith.

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(Ch.5) What two reasons does Elie give for not fasting on Yom Kippur?

Elie says it's because his father had forbidden him from it and Elie no longer cared about God and 'singing his praises'

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(Ch.5) What advice do Elie and the other prisoners receive regarding this second selection?

They are advised to move around and pinch their cheeks to give themselves some color and to run, not looking at the SS. And to not be afraid in order to increase their chances of passing.

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(Ch.5) What does Elie's father give him before he goes to work and why? What does he do with them after he has finished working?

Elie's father gave him a knife and spoon because his father's number was called and he didn't know if he would pass this next selection. These were Elie's inheritance, but after work he returned them to his father because his father was still there.

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(Ch.5) What does Akiba Drumer do to "open the door to death"?

He lost faith and the will to live. When selection came, he didn't even try to prove himself useful.

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(Ch.5) Why does Elie find himself in the infirmary? What advice does the Hungarian Jew with dysentery give him?

Elie is in the infirmary because his foot swelled up. The Hungarian Jew warns Elie to leave before there was another selection there in the infirmary.

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(Ch.5) What causes Burna to become a "hive of activity"? What does Elie fear even more that death?

The Russians were getting close and they had to evacuate everyone. The sick in the infirmary can stay, but Elie fears being seperated from his father even more than death.

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(Ch.5) What difficult decision do Elie and his father face concerning the evacuation? What happens to those left behind in the infirmary?

Elie and his father must decide whether they should stay in the infirmary or go with the others and evacuate. Those who had stayed in the infirmary were liberated two days after the evacuation.

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(Ch.5) Why are prisoners commanded to clean their block one hour before the evacuation?

He says to show the Russian liberators that men lived there, not pigs.

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(Ch.5) "I was no longer able to lament. On the contrary, I felt very strong. I was the accuser, God the accused. My eyes had opened and I was alone, terribly alone in the world without God, without man. Without love or mercy. I was nothing but ashes now..." pg 68

This shows how much Elie lost his faith and trust in God.

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(Ch.5) "As I swallowed my ration of soup, I turned that act into a symbol of rebellion... deep inside me, I felt a great void opening." pg 69

Elie was eating while others fasted, and in a way he feels a satisfaction since he has turned away from God, but he feels something beginning to be missing.

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(Ch.6) What idea begins to fascinate Elie following the death of Zalman

Elie begins to become very fascinated by the idea of death and not feeling this pain, and seizing to even exist.

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(Ch.6) Why won't Elie's father allow him to sleep?

His father says that if he sleeps he might not wake up because sleeping in the cold is dangerous.

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(Ch.6) What horrible reality does Elie realize concerning Rabbi Eliahu and his son? What does this cause Elie to do?

Elie realizes that Rabbi Eliahu's son purposefully ran a bit faster when he saw his father falling behind while they were marching, in order to lose his father because he felt he was a burden. This made Elie pray, to a God he no longer believes in, that he would never be like Rabbi Eliahu's son.

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(Ch.6) What happened to the remaining prisoners on the third day in the Gleizwitz barracks? What dangers does Elie's father face, and what does Elie do to rescue him.

Selection sent the weak to the left and Elie's father was sent to the left, away from Elie, so Elie ran to his father and when he did, it caused enough commotion that his father and others could switch lines.

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(Ch.7) What causes Elie to hit his father repeatedly on the train from Gleiwitz?

Elie hits his father to keep the others from throwing him off the train with others who were dead.

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(Ch.7) What happens on the train between a son lovingly called "my little Meir" and his father?

The father scavenges some bread for the two of them but the son wants both pieces and attacks his father for it, killing him. Then other men jumped the boy for the bread, killing him too.

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(Ch.7) How many people were originally on the train care with Elie? How many were living at the end of the trip? Where does the train take them?

There had been about 100 people, but no there are only 12 people when they reach Buchenwald.

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(Ch.7) What hypocrisy do you see in the character of the elegant Parisian lady who is "giving to charity"?

She is throwing money as "charity" but she is only doing it for her own amusement, not their benefit.

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(Ch.7) "The night was growing longer, never ending." pg 98

The Holocaust was one big nightmare for them and it seemed like it was a never ending night with a never ending nightmare happening.

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(Ch.8) In what way does Elie find himself likening himself to Rabbi Eliahu's son?

Elie lost his father when the sirens went off, and as he was looking for him he thoujght about how nice and what a relief it would be to not find him and not have that responsibility anymore.

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(Ch.8) What advice is Elie given concerning his father? What is his internal response?

He is told to stop trying to help his father, and that instead of giving him his soup, he should be getting his. Elie's internal response was to agree with him.

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(Ch.8) What happened on January 29, 1945. How does Elie respond to this?

Elie wakes up to see a new sick man where his father had been and Elie couldn't even speak.

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(Ch.8) How long has it been since Elie's residence at Sighet? How old is Elie?

It's been about 1 year ago and Elie is now 16.

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(Ch.9) What decision do the Germans make on April 5th concerning Jewish prisoners.

The Jews were told to meet at the Appellplatz, and were sent home. The next day there would be a role call and liquidation began.

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(Ch.9) What happens at 6:00 on April 11th?

"The first American tank stool at the gates of Buchenwald," and everyone was freed.

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(Ch.9) "From the depths of the mirror, a corpse was contemplating me. The look in his eyes as he gazed at me as he never left me." pg 115

This shows how much a year in the holocaust impacted and dehumanized people.

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Eliezer "Elie" Wiesel

An introspective teenager, Elie first begins to hate when Hungarian police strike out with billy clubs and force Jews from their homes. At Auschwitz's Block 17, he berates himself for being a spoiled child and rejecting his first plate of prison soup. He redeems himself by multiple acts of kindness, such as giving up his gold dental crown to spare his father torment for marching out of step. At the end of his incarceration, an emaciated, demoralized Elie bears little resemblance to the teenage boy who left Sighet.

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Mr. Wiesel (Elie's father)

An esteemed grocer, adviser, and religious leader in the village of Sighet, Chlomo is cultured, but realistic. His dedication to others is evident in his accompaniment of the first convoy of deportees to the gates of the ghetto. At the Birkenau ditch where infants are burned, he wishes that Elie had gone with his mother. Elie assumes that his father does not want to witness the murder of his only son.

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Mrs. Wiesel

Elie's mother remains silent and casts questioning looks at her family as she cooks food for the departure from their Sighet home. As the family marches from the large ghetto, her face is expressionless. In Elie's last view of her, she is stroking Tzipora's hair in a reassuring gesture.

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Tzipora Wiesel

A miniature vision of stoicism during the march to the cattle car, Elie's seven-year-old sister wears a red coat and struggles without complaint under the heavy load she must carry.

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Stein of Antwerp

A shrunken, bespectacled fellow, Stein introduces himself to Elie's father on the sixth day at Auschwitz. He asks for news of Reizel and their boys, who emigrated to Belgium. In exchange for Elie's fabricated news, the exuberant Stein returns with half rations of bread. The receipt of real news of his family ends his brief fantasy that they thrive in Antwerp

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Moshe the Beadle

Elie's mentor is an awkward, silent, hesitant man whose pious chanting and dreamy eyes suit the needs of a boy seeking to know more about Jewish mysticism. The synagogue's handyman, Moshe deliberately seeks anonymity among villagers yet opens himself to an intimate friendship with Elie, whose tearful prayers alert Moshe to the boy's spiritual hunger. After escaping the Gestapo in Poland near the end of 1942, he considers himself a messenger, but the villagers believe he has lost his mind and ignore his frenzied warning. (Note: Moshe's manic sobbing and subsequent withdrawal are symptomatic of a mental disorder currently known as post-traumatic shock syndrome, a common state of emotional dysfunction that affects survivors of war, terrorism, kidnapping, or other threats to safety or well-being.)

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Maria

The Wiesels' servant, Maria pleads with them to leave the unguarded ghetto and seek safety with her.

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Madame Schächter

A quiet fifty-year-old deportee whose husband and two sons were carried on an earlier convoy, Madame Schächter is left with a ten-year-old son. Her manic state progresses from moans to hysterical cries of "Fire! A terrible fire! Mercy! Oh, that fire!"

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Franek

A former student from Warsaw who plays in the orchestra block and serves as foreman of the electrical warehouse, Franek keeps Elie near his father while they work, then drops his friendly treatment by demanding Elie's gold dental crown. Franek's willingness to torment Elie's father suggests that the foreman has lost his humanity in the daily supervision of inmates.

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The Rabbi from a Little Town in Poland

A devout student of the Talmud, the Polish rabbi concludes that God has no mercy for internees.

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The Jewish Doctor

Elie's Jewish physician treats him gently, relieves the swelling in his foot, and promises complete recovery in two weeks.

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Zalman

A worker in the electrical warehouse whose immersion in the Talmud helps him escape reality; he cringes with intestinal cramps on the flight from Buna and sinks down to relieve his bowels. Elie assumes that Zalman is trampled by the inmates rather than shot by the SS.

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Rabbi Eliahou

An aged Polish holy man, like one of the biblical prophets, Rabbi Eliahou maintains a sweet expression and a comforting ministry among others in the camps.

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Eliahou's Son

A disloyal young man, Eliahou's son terrifies Elie by his behavior. Rushing farther ahead than Rabbi Eliahou can manage, the son soon distances himself from the weakening old man, whose stumbling steps threaten to get them both shot as stragglers.

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Dr. Josef Mengele

A cruel-faced SS officer, Dr. Mengele is armed with a military baton and wears a monocle as he conducts the methodical selection and selects all those too weak to work.

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French Girl

She cleaned Elie after his beating and gave him some bread

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Idek

The crazed Kapo of the Buna warehouse, Idek appears to have no control over fits of violence.

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Hitler

German Nazi dictator, started as chancellor, eventually shot himself

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"This was the end! Hitler was about to keep his promise"

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The Dentist from Czechoslovakia

A predator who is hanged for enriching himself by collecting gold teeth, the Czech dentist tries to talk Elie out of his gold crown.

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The Dentist from Warsaw

A pawn of Franek, the Polish dentist pulls Elie's crown in the lavatory using a rusty spoon as an extractor.

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CHARACTER MAP

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