Blockaltestes statement did not apply to Eliezer, because he went back to help his father, instead of leaving him to die with no help at all. I believe his statement applied to many others of the camp, though. “Our first act as free men was to throw ourselves onto the provisions. That’s all we thought about. No thought of revenge, or of parents. Only of bread.” (115) This is evidence that people of the camp thought of only themselves. If it meant for family to die, then so be it. Today, people would dodge bullets for family, because they have never experienced what they had experienced. What we think is the worst, is nothing compared to their worst. Elie must care for his very ill father because to do otherwise would mean he became as evil as the germans.
I don’t believe Blockaltestes statement applied to Elie because after his father had passed, nothing mattered to him. meaning, that during the time Elie’s father was alive, that’s all that mattered to him. “I remained in Buchenwald until April 11. I shall not describe my life during that period. It no longer mattered. Since my father’s death, nothing mattered to me anymore.” (113) Not bread, not water, his father is all that mattered. Elie must care for his father because to do otherwise would mean he had become as evil as the germans.
“I did not weep, and it pained me that I could not weep. But I was out of tears. And deep inside me, if I could have searched the recesses of my feeble conscience, I might have found something like: Free at last!” (112) I think it pained Elie to see his father like that, and that’s why he felt so free afterwards. This feeling of freedom wasn’t because he felt like he didn’t have to share his rations of bread with his father, or he didn’t have to give him his water, I think it was more of him feeling like he didn’t have to watch his father slowly dying. Elie must care for his very ill father because if to do otherwise it would mean he had become as evil as the germans.
One of the most painful situations and preoccupying thoughts that trouble young Elie involve the ways in which father-son relationships are torn asunder by the camps. He watches as sons deny—or at least consider denying—care to their fathers, putting their own interests before familial ties. Elie struggles with the same conflict when his father becomes ill, and when his father finally dies, Elie is profoundly sad though also proud that he never wholly compromised his own beliefs about family. The reason that Elie finds the deterioration of father-son relationships so painful is that the maintenance of this relationship seems to be the last barrier between the world that is semi-normal and one that has completely been turned upside down. Elie must continue to care for his ailing father because to do otherwise would mean that he had become as evil as the Germans.