Showing Hate

Maus- swastika
Just the sight of the swastika symbol instantly consumes me with extreme sadness and distress beyond description.  It’s a terrifying image which symbolizes the evil and hate of the Nazi regime, led by Adlof Hitler, and the atrocities they inflicted upon those whom they considered inferior, mostly the Jews.  Consequently, it’s not an image I care to look at.  However, the swastika is an image that we should never forget.  According to Fae Myenne Ng, “Remembering the past gives power to the present.”  By remembering the tyranny, terror, and genocide committed by the Nazi’s, for which the swastika symbolizes, we are given the power to prevent it from happening again. There is a wealth of information to help us remember this reign of terror, yet it’s easy to ignore, even understandable to want to forget.  Still, we can’t forget it if we are to learn from it.  Because of narrative work such as Maus, the graphic narrative about a Jewish family that survived the holocaust, we are empowered to remember the past.  As one reads Maus, we are forced to face the cruel lessons of history.  Though, as a graphic narrative, which is written and drawn much like comics, the reader is not bogged down by text.  Instead, the images offer meaning to the words which enables the reader to share in the fear and pain this family experienced.  Thereby, allowing us to be visually pulled into the story. Additionally, the reader is persuaded to keep reading about this family, and in the process, to learn more about the plight of the Jews and to remember what happened.  Personally, I think any other format for this narrative would be less enticing to most readers, primarily because we would have to fill the words with our own meaning rather than have the images show us their meaning.  Gunther Kress, in “Literacy in the New Media Age,” describes it as “the world told is a different world to the world shown.”  Maus, through words and images, effectively shows us a world which we cannot relate to and hopefully never will.

Picture from:

Works cited:
Chute, Hilary and Marianne DeKoven.  Introduction:  Graphic Narrative
Kress, Gunther.  Literacy in the New Media Age


5 thoughts on “Showing Hate

  1. I agree with you that the holocaust should not be forgotten. No one should ever simply forget the destruction during WWII. No one should forget the efficient murder of six million innocent Jews. In my opinion, everyone should be shown the death and destruction of the Nazi regime. That is why books like Night by Elie Wiesel and graphic narratives like Maus by Art Spiegelman that cover the darker side of World War II are so important. They may not be fun to read. You may not enjoy them. But they convey the message that we need to hear. They show the danger of communism, and the terrible consequences of war. These are things that everyone needs to see and experience, at least in part. And it is here with highly emotional and controversial topics that graphic narratives stand out as better than books. Although Night and Maus cover just about the same subjects, a graphic narrative communicates more clearly and easily than a simple book. Maus should be required reading in schools, to pass on wisdom of past generations.

  2. I agree with you that though it is easy to forget about such horrible tragedy, the Holocaust should never be forgotten. Such heartbreaking historical event and all the lives that were lost should forever stay in our hearts. Not only for respect to the many deaths, but also because we should learn to prevent such event from ever happening again. I also agree with you that Maus is a great way to learn about such the Holocaust. The author picked a very unique way to educate people about the tragedy that many Jews, including his parents and family, experienced. The book is also a great example about “cross-discursive” which was discussed in the article we read by Chute. Combining images and words can serve a very important purpose when trying to understand a story or just any information presented to you. In my opinion, “cross-discursive” played a major role in the comic book. The combination of images and words successfully supported the author’s purpose.

  3. I totally agree that the history should never lose the memory of the terrible holocaust event. After reading Maus, I went researching the history, reading through the stories of Holocaust survivors, I had hard time keeping my self from weeping over those innocent people. These poor people suffered great persecution for just being born a Jew. I researched the holocaust on Google and sadly came across few sources like, that says that “THERE WERE NO GAS CHAMBERS ONLY 100,000 DIED DUE TO SICKNESS AND YOU HAVE BEEN LIED TO YOUR ENTIRE LIFE!!!” These people have absolutely NO evidence and reason for trying to erase this terrible event. Millions of innocent people died and no body has any right to erase what happened with them. Living in Belarus I heard many stories of Jews that survived that terrible event and stories that my grand parents told me of what they witnessed. We have to honor those men and women who died innocently and let us never forget the history for forgetting it we are bound to repeating it.

  4. I completely agree with you, the Holocaust was such a tragedy, and should never be forgotten. I feel that some people forget what happend to all those innocent people until it is brought up in conversation. I also feel that our country has learned from this tragedy so we will be less Likley to replay this in the future. There are so many books and movies about the holocaust that help us to remember the past and to morn for the lost souls. I agree with you every time I see the swastica I get a depressed, sad feeling that runs through my body. I can not even imagine what those people had to go through, and for no reason what so ever.

  5. I definitely agree on your opinions and views on the Nazis. The Nazis were very evil and racist toward everyone who wasn’t “the inferior race” or better yet known as blonde haired blue eyed germans. It makes me sick in my stomach to think that humans could do such horrible things to one another, when we are all gods children. The Nazis did the unthinkable to jewish people, although jewish was their primary target they also targeted everyone else who wasn’t arian german blood. The Nazis not only killed just men but they also killed children and women also. World War 2 was a very dark time in the world, especially Germany. I agree with you that thinking about what all happened back then was depressing. While reading Maus I got very depressed and didn’t feel the urgency to finish, although I pulled through it, it was still very dark and dreary. The book Maus was a very good book and definitely did its job in portraying what all happened during that awful period of time. I absolutely loved the fact that it was a comic book, it was very interesting as well as very easy to read and comprehend. The author of Maus did a great job of making a holocaust book thats different and not boring to say the least.

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