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Eliezer Wiesel (identification number A-7713)

The narrator of the book, Eliezer is taken to concentration camps in Czechoslovakia and Germany at the age of fourteen. As a young boy in Sighet, Transylvania, he is very devout and interested in Jewish mysticism, and his religious faith evolves (but is never extinguished) during his time in concentration camps. Though he is separated from his mother and sister upon first arriving at Birkenau, Eliezer manages to remain close to his father during almost the entirety of his stay in concentration camps. He is very devoted to his father, and the two share rations and look out for each other. However, the harshness of camp life weakens Eliezer's filial devotion, which causes him much shame and guilt. Eliezer becomes concerned primarily with feeding himself and with escaping Nazi brutality, and this instinct of self-preservation often outweighs concern for his father, who he expects to take care of himself. A few months before the concentration camps are liberated, Eliezer's foot swells from the cold, and he has to undergo an operation.