Wine: Jews and Maus Essay

Submitted By mario1973
Words: 1714
Pages: 7

World History
Ms. Clark
Schindler’s List VS Maus
“Maus A Survivor’s Tale” written by Art Spiegelman, tells the readers a story on his father, Vladek’s, course through the holocaust as a Jewish man. Art is Vladeks son, and a cartoonist. He wants to understand what had happened to his father during the war, the history of the holocaust, and why his father is the way he is today. Vladeck mentions his life before the war, and how quickly things change for him after the Germans had disturbed his life. He tells stories about his life while trying to escape the camps, and while he was in Auschwitz. We then learn how this all effected his life after the war had ended. His tale is repulsive and frightful, but is a true story on how the Jews handled going through this horrible time period in life. Along with reading “Maus A Survivor’s Tale”, I also watched “Schindler’s List”, a story of the holocaust through a Germans eyes. I was able to compare the two stories and see the differences and similarities very clearly. The Maus book was separated into two different parts. The first book was the story of Vladeks life leading up to the holocaust. He explained that he was a free man, doing what he wanted to do for work, becoming a successful businessman. He then met his wife Anja who happened to come from a wealthy family and did not mind helping Valdek out when he wanted to open his own textile factory. This is how he made a living, which became a strong business. “By October 1937, the factory was going, and it was born, my first son, Richiev,”(Maus I, 30), said Vladek. Things did not stay this way for long. Vladek told Art, “On September 1, 1939, the war came. I was on the front, on of the first,”(Maus I, 39). Vladek was sent to the POW camps where the Jews were not treated well but left to starve and freeze while the Polish got heat and meals. To Vladeks advantage he was not the kind of man to let people mess around with him. When he saw opportunities he went after them. First he got to replace a German worker, and then when they were shipped to another part of Poland but higher officials had bribed the Germans to release the Jews and be put into Jewish homes that would claim them as relatives. He then hopped a train to try and be with his family. The Germans made rounds on the train but he was able to convince the workers he was Polish and made it back to Anja without being caught. Things worked out for a short time but then he was forced to go to the Black Market where he had to get food and other goods illegally. Soon Anja’s parents were sent to the gas and Vladek and his family had to register to work in the camps to be safe. “So we stamped our passports and cam quick to the good side of the stadium. Those they sent left, they didn’t get any stamp,”(Maus I, 90). Along with this they sent Richiev somewhere safe, though they never got to see him again. After sending him off Vladek and Anja had to do something in order to stay safe. “I arranged for us a very good hiding spot-in our cellar, where it was coal storage. In the kitchen was a coal cabinet maybe 4 foot wide, inside I made a hole to go down to the cellar and there we made a brick wall filled with coal. Behind this wall we could be a little safe, (Maus I, 110). Though they made these hide outs safe they were ratted out, however, with Vladecks aggressive personality he was able to make a deal to help him and his family get jobs and remain under the radar. They were able to keep this up for some time but then Anja and Vladek were both sent to Auschwitz. Upon their arrival at Auschwitz, Anja and Vladek were separated almost instantly. This was on of the scariest parts, not knowing if the other was alive or not. Vladek being lucky once again, was able to work and having advantages pushed off his death. He was also smart. He knew bribing the officers and getting them to like him would get him ahead. This helped him get clothes and shoes that fit and learned that he needed