Maus Summary The book Maus, by Art Spiegelman, it is the true story of his fathers life, mainly during the Jewish concentration camps. The chronicle is displayed in such a way it grabs the reader's attention right away and gets them hooked on the story. Art Spiegelman's dad, Vladek, explains to his son about the duress, and the excruciating pain he went through during the time of the concentration camps. Art retells the story exactly how his father told him, he did not concoct it, nor did his father mitigate how the concentration camps really were. Living in Sosnowiec, Poland at the time with his wife, Anja, Vladek owned a textile shop. They lived in a nice home, anything but destitute looking.
Soon his shop would be closed by the Jewish police, this is because they felt they were superior to Jews, and need to debase them. Although all the Jews started hiding out in attics, cellars, and other hiding spots, the Nazi's always discerned where they were. Vladek worked on cultivating a better and better bunker each time they need one. Vladek was a maverick, he definitely didn't live a normal Jewish life. He was always willing to sacrifice certain items just to obtain a hiding spot, or to live one day longer, thus making him a benefactor. There was not much to do in these bunkers, but keep quiet.
Anja wrote in her diary, hoping that one day she could bequeath it to her son, in which maybe he " ll find some interest in it. One time Vladek, Anja, and the rest of Anja's family was hiding out in an attic when they had an intruder. They took him up and talked to him and ended up giving him some food and letting him go on his way. Little did they know that this intruder divulged their hiding spot to the Jewish police, and soon they were prisoners.
Once taken captive, Anja, and Vladek were able to be put on the good side because of Vladek's connections. This book accentuates and focuses mainly in what Vladek had to do to survive. After being smuggled out of one camp, Anja and Vladek managed to jump from house to house. Vladek was very agile at the time, and moved swiftly at night to seek money and food opportunities.
Finally, Vladek talked to some friends and they had known some smugglers who smuggled a father and his son to Hungry, and they were doing wonderful there. Vladek looked into the idea, but his nephew, Abraham, thought it was a brilliant idea. Not trusting anyone at this point, Vladek was very ambivalent. Abraham decided he'd be the first to get smuggled and if everything turned out alright he'd write and let them know. A few weeks passed by and soon they received a letter from Abraham letting them know he was wonderful, so Vladek decided he and Anja would both go. Now Anja was the one being ambivalent, so it took much fostering before she agreed.
Little did the Speigelman's know that this whole smuggling idea was a set up for them to be sent to Auschwitz. There men and women were separated, meaning Anja and Vladek had to depart each other. Vladek was on the verge of breaking down when a priest came up to him and asked him what was wrong. Vladek simply explained how miserable he was, and how lonely he was. The priest took a look at his arm and thought that it was fortuitous.
The identification numbers in which were branded on his arm were somehow holy and lucky. The priest thought of this as a good omen, he took the numbers on his arm and consecrated it. Vladek soon felt better, and even as a little sign that things will be okay in the end camaraderie soon struck Vladek, and he was befriended by a Nazi. This was because Vladek's candor, and helped him out by teaching him English. He was rewarded with his efforts and was given food, and a hiding spot when needed one. The Nazi's main goal was to abate if wipe out entirely all Jews.
But because Vladek was adept he could help out, and work in any job he was given in Auschwitz. The bodies that were gassed in the chambers were left to blight, then stuck in ovens where they would then be turned into ashes. Many peoples bodies started to become corrosive, thus many died from because of starvation. Art knew some people that survived the Holocaust, two being his parents, and another being his shrink, Pavel. Pavel unlike Anja is exculpated with the memories, and thoughts of the Holocaust. He feels sadden, but not guilty for surviving.
Anja did not recover mentally, she ended up committing suicide, probably because she couldn't bare to live with these thoughts in her head anymore. Vladek on the other hand was able to resilient as best as he could, to lead a close to normal life.