The Complete Maus – A Reflection Paper
What makes this Holocaust story different is immediately apparent when the book is first picked up and the pages fanned through; it’s a comic book. A comic book about the Holocaust? Get outta town! Often times it’s difficult to keep the cynicism at bay, so I think back to when I purchased the book online to be reminded that it’s a “graphic novel,” not a comic book. It takes just a few seconds to be intrigued by the story about to unfold when Vladek declares, “If you lock them together in a room with no food for a week . . . Then you could see what it is, friends!” (p 6).
It’s quite well known that the Holocaust touched millions and millions of lives; some whose lives were taken, and others left behind to mourn those losses and deal as best they could with survivor’s guilt. I’ve seen firsthand some of the ugliness that goes with racism, but to attempt to eradicate an entire race of people . . . it seems so incredible as to make one believe that it’s not possible, it just couldn’t happen. If one were to believe Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Holocaust was a “myth of European Jewry.” (news.bbc.co.uk). Yet there are fairly recent events that point convincingly to genocide of specific groups of people – The conflicts in Bosnia and Rwanda are examples that, while not on such a large scale, were brought right into our homes via television.
How do we, all human beings as a society, tolerate such cruelty? The answer to that may be as elusive as world peace itself. Certainly when situations like this come to light, the world is outraged, and leaders almost everywhere speak up to denounce such conduct. But does anybody take any action to stop this from happening? One could argue that the United Nations, using forces through NATO, sends troops and equipment to help those oppressed. However, the bigger part of the problem is that by the time these forces are mobilized and deployed, the worst parts of the...