The Depiction Of Holocaust In Maus

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Maus is a story about the Holocaust written uniquely. Art Spiegelman wrote in a comic book format to tell the story of his father, Vladik’s experience of the Holocaust, and what it was like for Art growing up as the son of a Holocaust survivor. There are many themes from Maus that show up in the world today. Anti-Semitism devastates the Jewish community, tragic events can damage family relationships, and racism still exists today.

Anti-Semitism devastates the Jewish community. Anti-Semitic posters were placed on the doors of a Grand Rapids, Michigan Synagogue on October 13, 2019. The posters had a picture of Hitler on it and one poster had the words “Did you forget about me?” and the other poster had the words “A crusade against Semite led subhumans.” on them. The community is devastated by this hate and is standing together against Anti-Semitism. The United States Jewish communities have experienced high levels of Anti-Semitism in 2018. There were 1,879 attacks on Jewish people and Jewish organizations last year. There are many similarities between this recent event in Grand Rapids Michigan and Maus. There were signs put up stating that as of January 1, 1942, that all Jews from Sosnowiec must be relocated. Vladek and his family were forced to leave their home. Being Jewish meant that they were either killed or sent to Auschwitz to do hard labor and eventually gassed to death. In both instances, Jewish people are targeted and hated because of their religion.

Race affects how you were treated during the Holocaust and in the modern-day. Germans were portrayed as cats, Americans were portrayed as dogs, and Poles were portrayed as pigs.

Black men are more likely to be shot by police than white men. Black men are also more likely to be fatally shot. An unarmed black man has a rate of 4 times higher to be shot than an unarmed white man. Most people killed by the police are men ages 20 to 40 years old. The data comes from tracking the details of every fatal shooting by the police. This study began with a shooting in Ferguson, Missouri where a black man, Michael Brown, Jr. age 18 was shot to death in the back by a white police officer who used 12 bullets. Racism in Maus still exists today. Vladek did not like black people. The racism that Vladek felt was similar to how the German’s felt against Jewish people during the Holocaust. When Vladik and Art were in the car they saw a black hitchhiker and Vladik uses a negative word for black people and tells Art to drive fast past the hitchhiker. He had a bad experience in Queens, NY, and generalizes about all black people negatively.

Survivors Guilt can damage a family. School shootings can cause survivor’s guilt for those that escape with their lives. There were 3 suicides recently that was due to the Parkland, Florida and Newtown, Connecticut school shootings. One person was Jeremy Richman who committed suicide. He was one of the fathers of a child killed in the school shooting at Sandyhook Elementary School. Survivor’s guilt can cause anger and anxiety and not understanding why the survivor lived while other people were killed around them. Survivor’s guilt makes the survivor feel isolated. Many people cannot understand survivor’s guilt, but there are resources available to them. In Maus, Vladek and Art and Anya had survivor’s guilt. Anya committed suicide due to depression. Similar to Jeremy Richman who committed suicide. Art felt guilt because he feels like he is not a good son. Anya and Vladek had a son, Richieu, before the Holocaust and he died. Anya and Vladek kept a photograph of him in their bedroom and Art felt like he could never live up to Richieu and he could never be as perfect as him. Art also felt guilt over his mother’s death. An example of Vladek’s guilt of sending Richieu into hiding to save his life, but he ended up dying while Vladek survived. Another is the men who were in the same business as Vladek but were hanged in the center of town, but Vladek survived.

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