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After arriving at Auschwitz, Vladek suffered an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. He was despondent, depressed, and had virtually given up on life. He met a priest who was also an inmate, and who was educated in Hebrew numerology. After looking at the etched serial numbers on Vladek’s wrist, the priest told him that he would be blessed with a long life and good omens; he would survive. The Priests words had a great affect on Vladek, and from then on he believed in himself. He said the Priest's words put "another life into him."