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Maus by Vladek Spiegelman - animals to represent Poles?


dominikus28 4 | 4
27 Oct 2010 #1
I recently came across 'Maus' and also the fact that there was some controversy as to depicting Poles as pigs. I think it is very offensive, since many Poles risked the lives of their families to hide Jews and also that many Poles died in concentration camps.

What animal do you think Poles should have been represented as?

I direct this question to fellow Poles, but feel free to answer if you aren't Polish, but please don't answer if you are going to be racist because you hate Poles.

I was thinking an Eagle, since (for me at least) it's associated with bravery (risking life to save Jewish neighbours) and pride (proud of being Polish). I also thought bear, because they are a survival animal (Poland survived for 123 yrs without a country during partitions)
1jola 14 | 1,879
27 Oct 2010 #2
This imagery was not Spiegelman's original idea; he borrowed it from Goebbels.
Bratwurst Boy 12 | 12,093
27 Oct 2010 #3
Do you have a link for that?

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maus
After the comic was released in Poland many Poles found it offensive to be represented by pigs. However, there are many Polish characters who are portrayed sympathetically or positively such as the Spiegelmans' governess or Mrs. Motonowa who hides Vladek and Anja at great personal risk.

Spiegelman explained that he chose pigs in good faith because of their resemblance to famous American cartoon characters like Miss Piggy and Porky Pig. Many times in Maus the Poles are very selfish and do not want to have anything to do with the Jews.[5][6]

[/quote]
kondzior 12 | 1,221
27 Oct 2010 #4
I have read 'Maus' several years ago. While depictions of Poles irritated me somewhat, I rather enjoyed the read. Good stuff.
1jola 14 | 1,879
27 Oct 2010 #5
From Stephen Feinstein's Witness and Legacy, he states, "The depiction of Jews as mice and Germans as cats seemed to be a somewhat unfitting reminder of German propaganda through films such as Hippler's The Eternal Jew."

wiseportfolio.wordpress.com/2008/10/24/a-critical-analysis-of-maus-i-my-father-bleeds-history

That the German soldiers referred to Poles as swines, you are already familiar with.
Bratwurst Boy 12 | 12,093
27 Oct 2010 #6
That the German soldiers referred to Poles as swines, you are already familiar with.

And a jewish holocaust survivor should use Nazi propaganda because.....?

(And Spiegelman should have then drawn Jews as rats...because that had been Nazi-propaganda too)
1jola 14 | 1,879
27 Oct 2010 #7
That the survivor of Auschwitz portrays kapos in the camp as Poles raises more questions. He knows better.

Speaking of swine. A Jew walks into a butcher's shop, points at a large ham hanging and orders: I'll take that large fish. The butcher replies: But, Sir, that is a ham. The Jew waves his hand and says: I don't care what kind of fish it is, just wrap it up, please.
Midas 1 | 571
27 Oct 2010 #8
In the usual Polish fashion many of You guys fail to acknowledge that apart from a significant number of brave and heroic Poles that did all they could to ease the plight of Jews at great personal risk there was also a very visible chunk of the Polish population that sold Jews out to the Nazis for food or out of spite.

Nothing is black and white, please remember that.

Spiegelmann had an artist's right to portray all the nations like he saw fit, you don't like it - sue him.
Teffle 22 | 1,321
27 Oct 2010 #9
That the German soldiers referred to Poles as swines, you are already familiar with.

The cliché was that they referred to everyone as swine though - I wouldn't see it as specifically a Polish reference.
hague1cmaeron 14 | 1,377
27 Oct 2010 #10
In the usual Polish fashion many of You guys fail to acknowledge that apart from a significant number of brave and heroic Poles that did all they could to ease the plight of Jews at great personal risk there was also a very visible chunk of the Polish population that sold Jews out to the Nazis for food or out of spite.

Likewise it would be good to remember that many Jews gave away other Jews to the Nazis as well and many Jews gave Poles away to the Soviets. And many leading Soviets were Jews
zetigrek
27 Oct 2010 #11
The author of Maus is said to be mentally ill. He also said that the storybook is not based on his father's experience.

Nothing is black and white, please remember that.

exactly.

In the usual Polish fashion many of You guys fail to acknowledge that apart from a significant number of brave and heroic Poles that did all they could to ease the plight of Jews at great personal risk there was also a very visible chunk of the Polish population that sold Jews out to the Nazis for food or out of spite.

But the majority wasn't involve in both helping or denouncing Jews.
Harry
27 Oct 2010 #12
That the survivor of Auschwitz portrays kapos in the camp as Poles raises more questions. He knows better.

Are you saying that Poles were not kapos in Auschwitz? Or that Jews can not be Poles?
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
28 Oct 2010 #13
PAC protests against anti-Polish 'Maus' comic book

At their recent meeting the Polish American Congress, the American Polonia's umbrella organisation, protested against making the anti-Polish comic book Maus obligatory reading for American school children in various school districts.

It portrays Poles as pigs who helped the Nazis persecute Jews during the Holocaust.

Harry
28 Oct 2010 #14
It portrays Poles as pigs who helped the Nazis persecute Jews during the Holocaust.

And as we all know, not even one single Pole ever did anything to help with the Holocaust....
Ironside 51 | 11,337
28 Oct 2010 #15
Spiegelman explained that he chose pigs in good faith because of their resemblance to famous American cartoon characters like Miss Piggy and Porky Pig.

yeah sure ....wait, isn't a pig unclean according to Judaism like goim?
Well, closer .....
zetigrek
28 Oct 2010 #16
And as we all know, not even one single Pole ever did anything to help with the Holocaust....

I'm curious how many Australians would help if Holocaust was in Australia... It's easy to critisize if you are not the side of conflict but mind that not everyone feels guilty for other people's deeds. Do most Poles commited crimes on Jews that we all should be called Nazi-helpers, killers or little children rapers?
vetala - | 382
28 Oct 2010 #17
I don't believe that his choice to portray Poles as pigs was made in good faith. In Polish culture comparing someone to a pig is offensive, Jews hold pigs in even lower regards. Don't tell me Spiegelman wasn't aware of that. Plus, he grew up in France and, as I've noticed, between firebombing attacks on synagogues the Franch love to make a stop to discuss Polish antisemitism. He didn't even bother to get the names right ("Richieu", really?)
Harry
28 Oct 2010 #18
I'm curious how many Australians would help if Holocaust was in Australia

Given that it's not as if there was any kind of shortage of people willing to help when it came to exterminating the aboriginal people of Australia, I'd be most surprised if there were a grand total of zero Australians who would have helped with the holocaust.

It is pretty much certain that some people from absolutely any nation on the planet would have helped with the Holocaust if given the chance (just look at the way that some Jews helped!). The sad thing is that so many Poles seem to think that their nation is better than every other nation on the planet and so no Poles can possibly have helped with the Holocaust!
vetala - | 382
28 Oct 2010 #19
The sad thing is that so many Poles seem to think that their nation is better than every other nation on the planet and so no Poles can possibly have helped with the Holocaust!

Well, we're the only ones who are collectively punished for those 'some people' and treated as a symbol of antisemitism and collaboration.
zetigrek
28 Oct 2010 #20
The sad thing is that so many Poles seem to think that their nation is better than every other nation on the planet and so no Poles can possibly have helped with the Holocaust!

That's not true Harry. It's your own over-interpretation.

collaboration.

and that's the most painful part (how many Poles fought against Nazi Germans?)
ZIMMY 6 | 1,602
28 Oct 2010 #21
Many real heroes have not and cannot be acknowledged for their bravery. That's because they were murdered for helping Jews. The unknown partisans cannot speak and their stories are lost to history. Perhaps a special memorial to these 'unknown Polish heroes' should be built and acknowledged.
zetigrek
28 Oct 2010 #22
Yad-Vashem Institude is honouring them (and their descendants)
vetala - | 382
28 Oct 2010 #23
Not really. There needs to be a living Jewish witness for a person to be given title of a Righteous.
ZIMMY 6 | 1,602
28 Oct 2010 #24
I was referring to the many Poles who hid Jews or helped Jews in some manner who were caught and murdered without anyone being aware of their bravery. No one except the executing Nazis du jour were there as witnesses.
joepilsudski 26 | 1,389
30 Oct 2010 #25
C'mon...F*** 'Maus' and Art Spiegelman, too...Any good Polish cartoonists?...This, I am interested in.

Oh, and one more thing: Bulldoze Auschwitz...Don't announce it, just do it...Jews upset?...Too bad...They have money, they can build a replica in Israel...Or Germany...Germans built it, and they have plenty money, they can build replica in Germany if they are so guilt stricken...Why bring innocent Jewish children to Poland every year and fill their heads with hate about Poles?...Why?...Poland split like a piece of meat by both Germans and Russians...Only ones who profit from this abomination today are greedy Polish and Jewish travel agents...That page in history over...Finito, baby...Let's move on.
Bzibzioh
30 Oct 2010 #26
Bulldoze Auschwitz.

You are a one-issue fascist (cousin of the communist). White power folks like you are too stupid to recognize that your ideology has nothing to do with the real world. Go tattoo a swastika on your forehead and stick your head in a blender. You might make some pretty colors.
ender 5 | 398
30 Oct 2010 #27
Bulldoze Auschwitz

That's funny :-)
I wouldn't go so far I would treat that 'museum' as every other in Poland: ENTRY FEES
I see no reason why that has to be trest differently.
joepilsudski 26 | 1,389
30 Oct 2010 #28
You are a one-issue fascist (cousin of the communist)..

This is a childish reply...I don't ascribe to 'White Power' or any such silly ideology...However, I do think that Europeans and European-Americans need to be in touch with their history and roots, and not be silent in the face of media distortions...I first saw Spiegleman's cartoons many years ago, and feel they are a distortion...He is clever, but his work does not speak to me.
convex 20 | 3,978
30 Oct 2010 #29
I wouldn't go so far I would treat that 'museum' as every other in Poland: ENTRY FEES

Visits during most of the day require a guide.

Birkenau is open air and free.
Wroclaw Boy
1 Nov 2010 #30
there was also a very visible chunk of the Polish population that sold Jews out to the Nazis for food or out of spite.

Food or spite! cant you think of any other reasons, SS backlash in the form of murdering your family perhaps?


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