Syme, who was introduced in a previous chapter, (4) as a coworker of Winston was missing. No one mentioned it.
Everyone who worked at the Ministry noticed Syme wasn’t there, but no one dared speak of it or indicate they were aware of it.
By the third day, Winston secretly did a check. Knowing Syme was a member of the chess club, he looked at the notice. Syme’s name was not there. It wasn’t crossed out. It was that no one named Syme was a member of the Chess Club or ever was
Syme had not merely ceased to exist, he now never existed.
Everyone was aware of how one is ‘erased’ .