Sunday, April 5, 2015

Historical Context Nico A

This book, Maus, by Art Spiegelman, emanates Nazist ideas, and arianism.  It eradicates Anthropomorphism and analogizes a rat towards a Jew, and cats to a Nazi.  The weight of symbolism shown with this analogy allows for a reader to understand the segregation, discrimination and ideas practiced in Europe even earlier than WWII.  The passages of text scene throughout different pages demonstrates the inhumane acts done by all of Europe, and also Jewish response towards these acts.

Cat (Nazi) prepared to execute a mouse (Jew).  Part of the more
graphic 1986 version of Maus.
Ideologically, this book mirrored the points of view seen by Nazis, and portrayed the suffering caused by the Jews.  For example, the analogy of presenting rats as Jews and Nazis as cats.  The similarity between rats and Jews during the early 1900's represents that they were not wanted anywhere, they were discriminated and kicked out of everywhere they went, while the cats (Nazis) were liked by everyone, they were accepted in many places, in fact, people opened their doors for them (Austria).  Moreover, the arian belief of Nazis is also characterized by the cats due to the fact that cats are domesticated while rats are not.  Not only that, but the most major point, cats kill rats.  
Chapter 5, Maus.  Jews are hanged and left
in the streets so other Jews can see
Continuously, these references to Nazi beliefs and what the Jews thought about them appear.  For instance, according to chapter 5, a few of Vladeks friends, take their children including Vladek and Anja's son with Uncle Persis, where they believe they are better off (Spiegelman, chapter .5).  A graphical scene takes place explaining what Nazis did to Jew children when they cried, including being thrown into walls and off the trucks (Spiegelman, chapter .5).  The chapter also gives a brief example of what some Jews would do instead of going to camps, seen when Tosha feeds herself and her children poison to die outside of the death camps (Spiegelman, chapter .5).  Because this is more of a history comic book, location is everything.  This is because Anti-Semitism rose in the late 1800's due to conspiracies originating from Germany stating that Jews were planning on a rebellion (Anderson, 2012).  This caused for ideas, and violence to spread.  At the time, Tsar Alexander II was pro-Jew, and allowed for rights not given by Jews in any other country (Anderson, 2012).  Because of this, five million Jews inhabited Russia, but as socialist revolutionaries began terrorising and deposing the current form of government, Jews began to lose rights, and power (Pseudo, 2008).  
French propaganda.  It is said here
"Exposition: The Jew and France"
Propaganda from all around Europe, mainly Russia and France was agreed upon by the public (Anderson, 2012).  Jews were not given rights to own lands, and were all treated as rats, unwanted animals.  As Russia became more powerful, Jews in Poland suffered due to the fact that it was largely influenced by its former owner, which affected Vladeks family (Pseudo, 2008).

Today, Anti-Semitism is rising in areas such as the Middle East due to the fact that conflicts involving sacred land have been fought between Arabs and Jews.  Even though, in areas such as Poland, and places most affected by hatred during the 1800's have had crystal relations with Jews, and their current state, Israel.  In fact, even Germany has recognized Israel as a legitimate self-governing state.  The ideas portrayed in this book have died down, at least in the setting in which this occurred.

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