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Even after the townspeople hear that the Fascists have come into power in Hungary, no one really worries until the Germans actually invade Hungary and arrive at Sighet itself. Even then, the Germans seem nice and friendly, at least until Passover, when the persecution of the Jews begins in full force. Jews are not allowed to leave their homes, are forced to give up their valuables, and are required to wear the yellow star. Next, two ghettos are set up, and everyone is relocated. Once again, however, life returns to "normal," with the Jews setting up organizations and socializing happily.
The react this way because the Germans who come to occupy Sighet are friendly and treat them well. Even when they are relocated to the smaller ghetto the Jews remain optimistic and even treat deportation like a holiday. I believe that in this kind of situation you either have to act with optimism or go crazy.