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Eliezer is awakened when someone randomly tries to strangle him. He calls to his father at the last minute and is saved by a man named Meir Katz, who had been a gardener at the Buna camp and was therefore more healthy and robust than everyone else. However, a few days later Meir Katz begins to cry, having finally lost his will to live.
On the last day of the journey, there is a bitter wind, and everyone gets up in order to try to keep warm. All the prisoners begin imitating the death cry of a fellow prisoner, and Meir Katz wonders out loud why the SS guards don't just shoot them all right away. Finally, they reach the camp, and only twelve people (of the original hundred) have the strength to leave the wagon. The others, including Meir Katz, remain on the train to die. They are at Buchenwald.
Watching Meir Katz give up directly affects the way Eliezer sees his own father's plight.