“Friends? Your Friends? If you look them together in a room with no food for week, then you can see what it is, friends!”(Book 1, Pg.5)
At the start of the story Artie, Vladek’s son, was playing with his friends, but Artie fell and his friends left him there. Artie explains what happened to Vladek, but Vladek replied by telling Artie there is no such thing as a true friend. What happened to Artie was a parallel to the entire story, representing what happened to Vladek during the Holocaust. The answer Vladek replied with shows how the Holocaust changed himself.
“Anja and I saw her father at the window. He was tearing his hair and crying. He was a millionaire, but even this didn’t save him his life.”(Book 1, pg. 122)
The Nazis were forcing all of the Jews to move away from their homes, and Anja came from a rich family. Vladek was describing how powerful the Nazis were, being able to take everything away from the Jew. Anja’s family was millionaires, but their money didn’t matter since the Nazis were so powerful. Anja’s father was crying and going crazy since he used to be a powerful man, but his power turned to nothing because of the Nazis.
“You know, my father tried to keep all his children out from the army. Because when he was young, he had to go into the Russian army. And there they took you for 25 years. My father pulled out 14 of his teeth to escape. If you missed 12 teeth they let you go.” (Book 1, pg. 57)
Vladek was explaining to Artie what extent their family would have to go through in order to not join the army. Vladek’s explanation shows how gruesome war can be and what it can lead to. His explanation is paralleled with the war that is currently happening in Nazi Germany. Vladek’s father would starve Vladek just so he wouldn’t be accepted into the army. Vladek’s father sacrificed twelve of his teeth, a permanent loss, just so he can leave the army.
“So it came night. We were terribly frightened, we sat and waited. It was crying and praying. So long we survived, and now we waited only that they shoot, because we had not else to do.”(Book 2, pg.107)
Vladek was moved from one concentration camp to another and him and all the other Jews were stuck in the middle of nowhere. They were stranded without food, and they had no idea what to do. All they could think about doing was to pray, even though they didn’t know what to pray for. They were frightened so terribly, even the grown men were crying.
“One of the boys what we were in the attic together, talked over to the guard. They were trying to bribe a soldier, all day long they were arranging. At night was a commotion 8 or 9 ran off, and of course you couldn’t trust a Nazi.” (Book 2, pg. 83)
The Jews were becoming so desperate for freedom that they were trying to...