What events lead to the two hangings Wiesel describes? how does Wiesel feel about his evening meal after each hanging? What do his reactions suggest about how he is changing?
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The first man to be executed had stolen two plates of soup. Strong and muscular, he is unafraid at his own execution and shouts "Long live liberty! A curse upon Germany!" right before dying. Although Eliezer is surrounded by death all the time at the concentration camps, he is overwhelmed by this man's solitary execution. Another man Juliek is jaded and just wants it to be dinnertime. After the execution, everyone is forced to march past the condemned man's hanging body and to look into his face. Eliezer remembers the soup being particularly good that night. Eliezer saw many executions, and the victims, having already lost their capacity for emotion, never cried. Only once did the jaded, dried-up prisoners weep at an execution. An Oberkapo and his pipel (a young boy who acted as his assistant) who everyone liked were suspected of blowing up a power plant on camp, but they refused, despite torture, to give any information about it. The little boy, who had the face of a sad angel, was sentenced to be hanged. The prisoner who usually served as executioner refused to perform his task and had to be replaced by an SS officer. When it came time for the execution, the child said nothing, and the whole camp observed in silence. Since the child was so light, he didn't die immediately when he fell, and he remained alive, hanging for half an hour. All the prisoners wept that day, and one man kept asking where God was. That day Eliezer's soup tasted like corpses.