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THe concept of courage for a Jew during the Holocaust is problematic for any of us to judge (unless we were a Jew during this time). The older people clung to their faith. Their faith has been the focus of their life so why should this change during the war? Of course the younger people like Elizer, Yoshi and Tibi feel a sense that to simply be lead to slaughter has nothing to do with faith. Courage, however, is manifested in different ways. Simply surviving another day in that camp was courageous. So I don't think the boys' parents lacked courage. THey simply dealt with their situation in a different way.