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Maus II
Maus I


Maus I
History of Holocaust
Personal Reaction
Art Spiegelman
Other Links


This section is a summary of Maus I: My Father Bleeds History.  Maus I had two different parts, the modern part and the Holocaust part.  In The Holocaust part, Vladek, the author's father, describes what he went through during the war until he was put in Auschwitz.  The modern part describes what is happening to him while he is telling Art, the author, his story.


The Holocaust
At the beginning, Vladek tells how he met up with Art's mother, Anja.  Anja was Jewish, just as Vladek was.  They had their first child, Richieu, in October 1937, close to the same time that Anja's father bought Vladek a textile factory.  But the aftermath of the birth and the war that was fast beginning made Anja feel that she wanted to kill herself.  Vladek and she went to a place in the town that Vladek used to live in that would help Anja recover, and she did.  But while they were gone, Vladek's factory was robbed and everything was taken.  He got a new one, this time with insurance, and while doing that he heard of many pograms that were targeted at Jews.  After that, he was drafted into the Polish army to fight against the Germans.  He killed someone, but was taken prisoner by the Germans.  He went to a camp where he didn't have to work but was stuck out in the freezing winter with only a tent to sleep under.  However, he was soon transferred to a German work camp in which he got to sleep in a bed, but he had to work very hard.  He was saved by a friend of his, though, who broght him back to his family.  They were very rich, but were still affected by the war.  The Germans first took their furniture, then everyone in the house over 75.  They were then told to go to a large plaza where they all had to get their papers checked.
The Holocaust (cont.)
  If they had too many children or were too old to work, their papers weren't stamped and they were shipped off to concentration camps.  All Jews were then put into ghettos, and their children were taken.  Anja and Vladek's child, Richieu, took poison so that he wouldn't be taken.  They were then shuttled from bunker to bunker, hiding from the Germans.  It didn't matter, because they eventually got caught and were shipped off to Auschwitz.  That was when Maus I ended.


Vladek has been having an increasingly hard time in the modern day world.  He tries to save everything, even if it is just a piece of a telephone wire or paper napkins from fast food restaurants.  Anja has killed herself, and he decided to burn all memories of her.  He has had two heart attacks since then, and is in poor health.  He has gotten remarried, but it is not a happy marriage.  His new wife, Mala, thinks that he is a miserly old man, and he thinks that she is a money-loving woman.  She keeps wanting him to chamge his will, and he only gives her $50 per week.  Art is caught in the middle of it all, and he doesn't like it.