Friday, February 6, 2015

Cian M. : Muas : Question Commander : Post #1

Page 6-71
Question Commander
Week #1

If you faced the same decision as Valdek when he was given the chance to stay in a freezing tent close to starvation or take a chance on a labor camp and hope for the best which would you choose?

It would clearly be a gamble leaving the tents and going to a labor camp with out really knowing the conditions you would live in, however I would take the gamble. This is due to the fact that there is little chance of surviving while living in a freezing tent and eating barely enough to survive each day. Although, If I was put into this situation right now I still am not sure what I would choose becuase I am not sure wether or not I would be able to think this rationally about this question in a life or death situation.

Polish Soldiers Heading out to the front lines as Valdek did

If you were drafted to the front lines would you hesitate when asked to kill and german soldier?

I most likely would hesitate for I believe that I would think about that person's family and those who would miss the soldier. But in the end I would hesitate to shoot but shoot anyways. However I have yet to have been placed in that situation so I am not entirely sure what my reaction would be. In other words I can say what my rational mind would do but I can't predict what my instincts will tell my to do or wether or not I'd listen to them.

Mouse running from a cat as the Jews were forced to run from the Nazis

Why do you think that the Author choose to depict Nazi's as cats and Jewish people as Mice?

I think the author choose Cats to portray the Nazi's and Mice to portray the jewish population becuase the jewish people were prey to the Nazis just as mice are the prey of cats, in other words this was done to help the reader understand the relation ship between the Nazis and the Jews. It also was done in this way to easily help the reader to distinguish the Nazi's and the jewish population so that the reader could focus on the story and not wether or not the person was a Nazi or Jewish.


  1. Cian you had some very thoughtful questions, and I would like to respond to the 2nd question. I would not hesitate to kill a German soldier during combat because during it is ME before YOU. In the end of the conflict he would kill me without thinking or vice-versa, because this is our only means to survive the war, we kill anyone who posses a threat to my survival.

  2. Cian, I would go to the labor camp without hesitation. I would feel better working and accomplishing something rather than doing nothing in a freezing tent. I think being more active would help me stay warmer. The CEO of Volkswagen during WWII used the war as an advantage for the company and used Jews as workers. This can be an advantage since he doesn't have to pay as much salary as he would if he hired German workers. Some might think that this is like slavery but I think the CEO was saving the Jews from being killed. He gave them an opportunity to make a living. Vladek made his way back to his family successfully.

    For the second question, I would shoot with little hesitation. First, I would hesitate very little since they are trying to kill me but surely they would not want to kill me with fury. Most of them probably are in the war just because they were ordered to report to the front lines. Still, I would shoot because they are working for a leader that is trying to eliminate an innocent religion. Even if they do not want to kill me, it is better if I shoot them since I must destroy the support of the leader in order to destroy the leader himself. It is just like demolishing a building, the supports and structure of the building must be examined and strategically demolished in order for the roof to fall without effecting the buildings surrounding it. Also, not shooting would be helping my enemies and would increase the risk of my family getting in danger.

  3. Cian,

    I really enjoyed reading your post. I found your questions really interesting and deep. Anyways, I'd like to answer them in my point of view in order for us to have a good discussion, knowing different perspectives. To start, I'd think that if I would be put in such a situation of choosing between a labor camp and a possibility of dying of hypothermia, I'd definitely end up choosing working in a labor camp, as I would have a smaller possibility of dying, and I'd feel also much more comfortable that way, even though I wouldn't be very well treated. Moving on, your second question is a hard one to answer. To be honest, I wouldn't have the courage to shoot a German/Nazi soldier. As I see it, war is the most insane stupidity of mankind. It is just thousands of men in an open space killing each other for a reason they don't even understand. Therefore, in the battlefield, or you shoot, or you get shot. There is no third option. Obviously, I wouldn't prefer to die, so I'd shoot but I am still not sure if I'd still have the courage to do so. Killing a man is something so unimaginably terrible for me it hurts just the thought of it. In the end, we would be all soldiers that are following orders from higher ranks. If we don't do so, we'd be sent to the martial court and went to the seawall firing place. To be honest, I think not the Nazi soldiers were the ones who needed to be killed, but the head and brain of the military, which came up with all those horrifying ideas of holocaust. However, when we are honest with each other I think I'd still be terrified but I'd shoot in order to save my own life, but I'd shoot with a bullet filled with my regret, but actually I hope this never happens in real life to me. Yikes! Last but not least, I guess the author chose to create this allegory in the story, depicting animals as peoples because of the background behind it. Take a close look: mice are treated as scum nowadays, just like the Jews were back then. Moreover, mice can be imagined in being trapped inside small cages, relating to the Jews as well, which were trapped inside concentration camps with nowhere to go. In addition, there is even a word in German used to classify those who walk or act like a Jew, called "mauschen", which is a derived word from "maus" or "mouse"/"rat" as a direct translation to English. Also, the Nazis used to perform cruel and inhuman experiments in the Jew prisoners, suggesting that the analogy might refer as well that the people were used as lab rats at the time. The Nazis were portrayed as cats probably because they hunted down the Jews, jus like cats chase mice. Another animal you ended up not mentioning in your question that appeared in the novel several times by now was the pig, which were used to refer to Poles, which is probably because the Nazis used to say the Poles were pigs, for a reason I do not know of. In general, I really enjoyed sharing my thoughts and opinions with you, Cian!

    Keep up the great job!