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ch 2It 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 A fifty-year-old woman named Madamae Schaechter is on the train with her ten-year-old son She had been separated from her husband and two older sons earlier and is now beginning to lose her mind She starts screaming hysterically about a fire and a furnace that she claims to see in the distance At first she terrifies the people in her wagon and they rush to see what she is pointing at out the window After hours of her screaming the people on the train can take no more and they tie her up gag her and begin beating her to make her stop screaming about the fire She breaks free from her restraints and periodically screams throughout the night until everyone else on the train feels like they are about to go mad too Finally the wagons arrive at Auschwitz which they are told is a labor camp where conditions are good Peoples spirits lift although Madame Schaechter continues to scream As the train pulls into the camp everyone suddenly sees the flames and chimney that Madame Schaechter had prophesied When her vision finally materializes Madame Schaechter becomes silent Everyone is forced to get out of the train amidst the smell of burning flesh They are at Birkenau the reception center for
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