This is a picture of the cattle cars they were forced into, to transport them to death camps.
Mrs. Schachter's son was only ten years old, so he must have felt very frightened when his mother was screaming about her "visions." At first he held her hand and tried to comfort her, but when he saw how other people in the car responded to her, by hitting her and yelling at her, he started to feel like the others. We think he knew that death was coming and he wanted her to stop drawing attention to them. He tried to do what was best for her, what would save her from more pain, by stepping up and being the strong protector. He could not stop the other people in the car from hurting her so he just tried to make her stay quiet so they would have no reason to.
There is no doubt that Mrs. Schachter was treated inappropriately. It is never right to beat someone near death, especially over some yelling. At the same time, though, the prisoners had to do what was necessary to stay alive. They were so frightened of what the police would do to them if they heard her that they believed they could sacrifice her to keep the rest of them safe. Also she represented a sort of reason why the Nazi's hated the Jews. They believed by complying with the Nazi's, they would forget about them, especially if they didn't stand out. She stood out in that group so they saw her as the reason why they were being taken to these camps and doomed to death. They took out their anger on her, not necessarily to keep her quiet, but more out of frustration at their situation. The prisoners could have handled the whole situation differently because the beating didn't stop her. If they really needed her to be quiet, obviously talking to her didn't work, they could have focused more on gagging her or isolating her. They could have tried harder to get her to be quiet but still give her some dignity. Being locked in a cattle car for days can make a person go crazy; they should have been more understanding instead of so hostile.
By: Ashley Urtado, Darius Jones, Erika Keithley, and Suzy Byers