Mice, on the other hand have opposing characteristics and are seen as prey, little, a nuisance, underestimated, and need to be exterminated. The cats in Maus, the Germans, are hunting the mice, the Jewish, trying to get rid of every last one of them. The Jewish try to do anything possible to save themselves, including making bunkers, paying people to hide them, and putting up with weather, small amounts of food etc. to hide from the Germans’ putting them through the worst of conditions. One way Spiegelman shows how tiny and hide-able they could be is when Vladek is discussing the hiding spot they make in someone’s basement. Vladek says that “Even when they came with dogs to smell us out- and they knew that Jews are laying here- but still they couldn’t find”3. What Spiegelman makes clear in Maus I and II is that the Jewish were easily hidden and concealable. They scavenged for food to stay alive, as the goal of both mice and the Jewish is to stay alive any way possible. The main way Spiegelman shows this is in the way the Jewish that are in the army wear pig masks, are never recognized by anyone, and are seen as Polish without question most of the time. “I still had on my army uniform, and I didn’t let know I was a Jew” 4. They are easily concealed through the entire book but are eventually found one way or another. The fact that mice in Maus can pass for other animals depicts the reality that Jews could pass for any nationality by looks.
Another animal depicted was a pig, signifying the Polish. When thinking of a pig most people think dirty, noisy, and problematic. That is how the Germans saw the Polish. They were problematic, and Hitler wanted to invade Poland and take over. The Polish hated the Germans, and the