Baylor College Medical School

10. Night by Elie Wiesel

10. What were the conditions in the cattle car?

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It is so crowded inside the cattle wagon that people have to take turns to sit down. They travel for two days, and the heat, crowding, and lack of food and drink is becoming unbearable. Social constraints become stripped away, and young people openly have sex, with everyone pretending not to notice. The wagons stop at Kaschau, a town on the Czechoslovak frontier, and everyone realizes that they will not be staying in Hungary as expected. A German officer explains to them that they are now under the authority of the German army. He takes all their valuables and threatens to shoot everybody in a wagon if even a single person escapes.