Sunday, October 26, 2014

Ariana Lizarraga- Question Commander rotation #3

The last part of Maus I, to me, ended very abruptly. I would have liked if the author wrote more about what the  Concentration camp was like, also I didn't have time to really stop and think about what is happening in the end so that I could fully understand. At the end of reading Maus I, I was left with a lot of questions as to what exactly happened both in the book and in the actual war.

1. Why did most of Vladek and Anja's old Pole friends close the door on them when they asked for help?

Some Jews survived the "Final Solution," the Nazi plan to kill the Jews of Europe, by hiding or escaping from German-controlled Europe. Most non-Jews neither aided nor created difficulties in  the "Final Solution." Relatively few people helped Jews escape. Those who did aid Jews were motivated by opposition to Nazi racism, by compassion, or by religious or moral principle. In a few rare instances, entire communities as well as individuals helped save Jews. They did so at tremendous risk.  But the reason why most people tried to avoid even being seen with Jews was the simple reason that if you were caught hiding or helping a Jew not only would they die, but you as well.

Members of a Polish family who hid a Jewish girl on 
their farm. Zyrardow, Poland, 1941-1942.

2.  In order to avoid all the problems Jews had, why didn't they just leave when Hitler came to power? 

Jews didn't leave when Hitler came in power for many reasons, one of them being simply that they didn't want to leave behind Germany a place that they grew up, and their ancestors settled down thousands of years before. Another reason is that at the beginning they simply didn't know it was going to turn into a living hell for them. From 1933–1939, the German government was only  passing and enforcing discriminatory laws targeting Jews at a relatively gradual pace. But it started to get out of hand when nationwide anti Jews violence of 1938, known as Kristallnacht, began, where they were killed on the street, or taken to concentration camps, or even to gas chambers.

3. Why does Artie call his father a "murderer" at the end of the book?

When Artie asks if his father had ever read the diaries his mom had written, his father said yes but he burnt them in a fit of sorrow and anger after her death. I think that Artie at that point was done with how his dad had acted over the years, he finds him extremely selfish and in some way a coward, and even though he did go through the war,  it was no excuse to him. He calls him a murderer because he feels as if he murdered his mother's memory. It was as if Vladek had killed the last hope of ever being connected to his mother, Artie ever had.


  1. Ariana:
    I agree with your answers. Though I´ll like to make some comments about the second one. You said that most of the Jews stayed in Germany for reasons we cannot understand. Well actually many of them stayed but the majority left to the States before, after or during the war.
    I also got really confused at the end when Vladek and Anja got captured but we know they survived the war. I think the author doesn´t make that clear. You said that at final you got it fully. Can you please give me your theory? Thank you and good job.

  2. I agree with all of your ideas and concepts about the Holocaust and the book. One thing I would expand on is your second question. According to this article The Jewish population made up only 1 percent of the total population of Germany. The nazi's almost destroyed the word because of 1 percent of the population was Jewish. During the entire war Jewish immigration was constant until around 1948 when they started to kill Jewish people on the street. Out of 523,000 Jewish 202,000 remained in Germany by the end of 1935. Lots of the Jewish population tried to migrate to different parts of Europe and the world. Some were successful and some weren't.