chapter 4

What were two things that were mentioned in chapter 4 that desensitized Jews during the holocaust

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As the prisoners remain longer in the concentration camp, they gradually begin to lose touch with their human emotions. When his father is beaten by an iron bar, Eliezer does not even feel any pity or compassion: "I kept quiet. In fact I was thinking of how to get farther away so that I would not be hit myself. What is more, any anger I felt at that moment was directed, not against the Kapo, but against my father. I was angry with him, for not knowing how to avoid Idek's outbreak." Along with the other prisoners, Eliezer is becoming concerned only with his own survival. In trying to remain alive, the prisoners cease to care about others and want only to eat and avoid being beaten. When the prisoners witness the first hanging execution, Juliek whispers, "Do you think this ceremony'll be over soon? I'm hungryŠ" This progression towards emotional numbness and fierce self-centeredness is a kind of reverse character development: the prisoners do not grow and mature, but instead regress into a perverse kind of childlike, emotionally void state. Occasionally, however, there are still rare displays of human emotion, such as when the French woman comforts Eliezer and when the prisoners weep at the hanging of the child prisoner.