Maus II by Art Spiegelman

maus2Maus II continues the holocaust survival story of Art Spiegelman’s father, Vladek. In this second book, we learn of Vladek and his wife Anja’s struggles in order to survive in the two deadliest concentration camps ran by the Nazis and their lives after. It also shows the impact of these terrible experiences to Vladek, who now is an old man and how this affected Art’s life negatively at the same time. However, this also gave Art a purpose, to write a book about his father’s distressing and heartbreaking story.

I must say that Maus I was a rough read already but Maus II is rougher. Brutal. Heart-wrenching. Vladek related the stories inside the camps, death and torture and how tough and disheartening it makes someone to be there. It’s fascinating to read how Vladek tried his best to survive and help others while inside the camps, at the same time making sure that Anja is keeping well. One of the things that really hit me hard here was when Vladek and Anja learned of each other still alive. They got separated in the camps but knowing, just knowing, that the other is alive brought to me too much emotions. It was kinda difficult getting rid of the heaviness I felt then. It’s just too hard to imagine how difficult it was then for the victims of the holocaust and the war as a whole.

As is with Maus I, the illustrations in Maus II were equally extraordinary, terrifying, very personal and essential. The characters were again portrayed as animals. Very powerful. The storytelling style was as beautiful as the first volume.

It’s hard to put into words how I loved both books so much so I urge you to read it, only then will you understand.

Quotable Quotes:

“No matter what I accomplish, it doesn’t seem like much compared to surviving Auschwitz.”

” I feel so inadequate trying to reconstruct a reality that was worse than my darkest dreams.”

“People haven’t changed … Maybe they need a newer, bigger Holocaust.”

Rating: 5/5 stars

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

thetattoistofauschwitzI’ve been seeing this book almost everywhere both online and offline and so I’ve finally decided to purchase an ebook and see why people are so raving about it.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz is Lale’s true story during the second world war. It tells us how he became the tattooist in Auschwitz and the trials and sufferings he and the others experienced there.

I liked the story, I do, but I didn’t quite like the writing. I’m a big fan of world war reads but this just came a bit flat for me. I also wasn’t able to connect with the characters and there was no character development. I also didn’t feel that much emotion while reading this unlike the other books I’ve read about the war. I did felt some but I would have loved it more if I were able to feel a connection with the characters or between Lale and Gita. I kinda felt like the bond between them was missing, an opportunity missed for a beautiful love story. Or is it just me? Don’t get me wrong, this would have really been a great story but I really felt the writing didn’t do it justice.

Any holocaust-related story is a gripping tale but I wasn’t blown away with this one. Still I’m glad I’ve read it.

Quotable Quotes:

“I know he is not perfect, but I also know he will always put me first.”

“To save one is to save the world.”

“Remember the small things and the big things will work themselves out.”

Rating: 3/5 stars

Night by Elie Wiesel

nightBook #9.

I’ve always loved learning about the world war and people’s stories during those times, particularly the Holocaust and Night is one of such stories. And every time I read about it, I wonder how I would have fared if I were born a Jew in a Nazi-occupied country during the second World War.

This is a first person account of Elie Wiesel, a teenage Jew from Transylvania, Romania. Elie and his family were soon brought to concentration camps in Auschwitz (later in Buchenwald) and were separated from each other. He tells of the unimaginable horrors that he and the others experienced during the war including people being thrown in the crematory particularly babies.

I personally think that it is extremely important that these events be never forgotten and this book serves as a dismal reminder of human’s capacity to be inhuman to humanity itself. A book you should make a point of reading.

Quotable Quotes :

“For the survivor who chooses to testify, it is clear: his duty is to bear witness for the dead and for the living. He has no right to deprive future generations of a past that belongs to our collective memory. To forget would be not only dangerous but offensive; to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.”

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”

“Every question possessed a power that was lost in the answer.”

“I shall always remember that smile. What world did it come from?”

“One more stab to the heart, one more reason to hate. One less reason to live.”

Rating : 4/5 stars