The Holocaust Survivor Testimonies in Maus, a Comic Book by Art Spiegelman

Topics: Maus

Maus and Holocaust Testimonies

Art Spiegelman uses a different approach in creating Maus as a comic book to share his father’s story. He uses flashbacks and flashforwards which enables the memoir to be more realistic. Even though his comic is unlike the testimonies from most survivors of the Holocaust, it still provides a detailed look at the account shared by his father. As a graphic novel, Maus also provides an additional layer to the similar testimonies provided by other survivors.

Spiegelman’s Maus, created the comic by sharing the story of how Vladek is trying to rebuild his family. Throughout the book, the reader learns more about Vladek and his family than the families of both Edith and Paul . When Spiegelman supplies the illustrations of his father then and now, it allows the reader to not only hear his story but to see his story. For instance, when Vladek draws the two different bunkers he and his family once had to hide in (110,112), it gives the ability to visualize how they had to live.

It also helped the reader to visualize the stories Paul and Edith share about hiding to survive.

When Paul and Edith are getting interviewed, listeners can not hear the interviewer asking questions. Perhaps this is to confirm that it is all about their stories, their lives during the Holocaust and after. But in Maus, Spiegelman interacts with his father while interviewing him, even when he is not questioning him about his story. This is shown in various parts of the comic, like for instance when Vladek is telling a story, he cuts into it by stopping his story to talk to his son.

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When he was sharing the story about when he got home to Anja and Richieu, in the box that is unlike all the talking bubbles at the bottom of page of 66 shows he is talking to Art. This symbolizes Vladek and Art’s relationship as father and son. Being that they had no relationship before this it helps see how things are coming along for their relationship.

Spiegelman starts Maus, just his father started off sharing his story. Vladek starts off about how he met Anja way before the war and the concentration camps. And that is when it can be inferred that Vladek’s story was not just his story but also Anja’s. Unlike Vladek, Paul starts of about the war and gradually shares about his many fathers and how his father died when he was three. And Edith starts when everything began to fall apart and thinking how she and her family could never go to concentration camps. Mostly throughout Maus it is more than just the Holocaust, but also how the experiences affected Vladek and as well as his son. We are able to see how they are living versus just watching a thirty minute long video of the testimonies. Although, Maus takes a different approach in sharing a survivor’s story, it provides readers to feel what Vladek felt same as Edith and Paul. It allows us to see the Holocaust as the three of share their stories. Do not look at Spiegelman’s comic as just a son listening to his father’s survival story, but also look at how close they are able to get when they bond. The setting is in more than one place, they go for walks, which shows how Art Spiegelman was trying to get closer to his father being that they did not have a strong relationship which was made clear in the beginning of the comic.

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The Holocaust Survivor Testimonies in Maus, a Comic Book by Art Spiegelman. (2021, Dec 21). Retrieved from

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