Maus II: And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman

TitleMaus II: And Here My Troubles Began
Author: Art Spiegelman
Genre: biographical/autobiographical graphic novel
ISBN: 9780679729778
Length: 126 pages
Published: 1986
Source: personal collection
Rating: 4.5/5
Resolutions/Challenges: Personal Collection ResolutionMemoir/Biography Resolution
Awards: 1992 Pulitzer Prize

Reason for Reading: Well, I read Maus I yesterday, so it just made sense to continue 🙂

Summary:

This second volume…moves us from the barracks of Auschwitz to the bungalows of the Catskills…it attains a complexity of theme and a precision of thought…Maus ties together two powerful stories: Vladek’s harrowing tale of survival against all odds, delineating the paradox of daily life in the death camps, and the author’s account of his relationship with his aging father.

My Thoughts: I liked this one slightly less than Maus I. I’m pretty sure this is due to the fact that there is more in this one set in the present and those parts didn’t interest me as the war years and Vladek’s story.

However, there were a couple of “passages” that I really liked.

I know this is insane, but I somehow wish I had been in Auschwitz with my parents so I could really know what they lived through!
I guess it’s some kind of guilt about having had an easier life than they did. (p16)

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No matter what I accomplish, it doesn’t seem like much compared to surviving Auschwitz. (p44)

Both of those passages, I think, convey why children of Holocaust survivors might feel guilt. I always sort of wondered why the children would feel particularly guilty. I knew that I would feel guilty because I had it easier, but I didn’t realize that it would be so magnified by just being a child of a survivor. Maybe I sort of thought the children would feel victimized because their parents were. I’m not exactly sure. And the second quote, of basically an inferiority complex, I don’t think I ever would have thought of myself.

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