The new camp is Buchenwald. The survivors of the terrible journey are told to go to the showers, but Eliezers father is too weak to do so. He tells Eliezer to go to the showers and leave him to die.
The sirens wail and the guards drive the men to the barracks. Eliezer goes in and sleeps. When he awakes it is daytime. He remembers his father and goes to look for him, but after walking for hours he cannot find him. Finally, coming to a block where black coffee is being handed out, he hears his fathers voice. Eliezer brings him some coffee. They cannot stay long together, since orders are given that the block must be cleaned. Only the sick can stay.
Five hours later, Eliezer goes to his father again. Eliezer gives him what remains of his own soup. His father grows weaker every day, and is struck down by dysentery. He lies in his bunk as Eliezer tries to give him hope. The doctors are unsympathetic to his plight, and the other sick prisoners hit him. They also take his ration of bread.
After a week, the head of the block tells Eliezer not to give his father his ration of bread and soup. His father is past help, and Eliezer should just look after himself.
Eliezer finds some soup and gives it to his father, whom he refuses to leave. His father calls out for water, but in response, an SS officer hits him on the head with a truncheon.
Eliezer goes to bed. When he awakes, his fathers place has been taken by another invalid. Eliezer knows that his father must have been carried to the crematory, perhaps even still alive.
Eliezer stays at Buchenwald for several months, until April 11, 1945, living in a block with six hundred other children. A few days before the liberation, the prisoners are told that the camp is to be liquidated. Ten blocks of prisoners will be evacuated each day.
On April 10, twenty thousand prisoners still remain, and the Germans decide to evacuate them all at once. But after an air raid warning, the evacuation is postponed until the following day.
The next day, as the prisoners are assembled, the camp resistance movement decides to act. Armed men spring up everywhere, and grenades explode. The SS flee, and the resistance takes charge of running the camp. At six oclock in the evening, the Americans arrive and liberate the camp.
Three days later, Eliezer becomes very ill with food poisoning. He is transferred to a hospital and spends two weeks between life and death. One day, he looks at his face in a mirror, and sees a corpse staring back at him. The look in his eyes has never left him.
The relationship between Eliezer and his father has almost been reversed. The father has become “like a child, weak, timid, vulnerable,” and Eliezer has to behave like a father to him. Again, Eliezer fiercely clings on to life, while his father, Eliezer believes, chooses death. In this final episode in the father-son relationship, Eliezer briefly falls victim to the same thoughts that he believes came to Rabbi Eliahous son-that his father is a burden, a dead weight, and if he could get rid of him, he would have a better chance of surviving. He is immediately ashamed of the thought. From that point on, apart from one small lapse when he resents giving his father some of his soup, Eliezer does everything he can to give his father hope and defend him from the assaults of the other prisoners.