Describe what happened to the Jewish people once they arrived to the concentration camp?
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Yolen details the treatment these prisoners undergo as they are transported to the camp. First, they are relieved of any valuables and personal possessions. The boxcars are hardly fit to transport animals but the villagers are forced aboard and crammed into the claustrophobic conditions. Consider how systematic this dehumanization is and its intended goal. It makes the Jewish prisoners out to be something less than human, making it easier for the soldiers involved to commit the atrocities. It also separates the prisoners from their personal belongings and any sense of identity those belongings may hold for them. This will continue in the camp as the women have their hair cut off and as all the prisoners are tattooed. They will not be known by their names. Instead, they are simply a number. It is during this "processing" that Hannah realizes she cannot remember the history lesson she knows she had regarding the Holocaust. Her old life, her old identity, is slowly slipping away. As Hannah begins to cry at this loss, Gitl tells her never to cry, especially in front of the Nazis. Hannah understands. She will not give them the satisfaction. She will not imply to the soldiers that her will has been broken.