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Last Updated: Feb 13, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Maus - Art Spiegelman Print Page

Study Questions


The Holocaust

Holocaust time line

The Graphic Novel


Other Texts

Schindler’s List (1982) - Thomas Keneally

This Booker Prize winning novel details the story of Oskar Schindler, a Nazi Party Member, who saved over a 1000 Jews from the Nazi Concentration camps. The novel was lated produced as an Oscar winning film 'Schindler's List'.

Night (translated into English in 1960) - Elie Wiesel

Night is the true story of Elie Wiesel who was sent to the Nazi death camps of Auschwitz and Buchenwald as a child.

Elli (1980) - Livia E. Bitton Jackson

The true story of a 13 year old girl who was a survivor of Auschwitz and Dachau. When she emeged from the camps one year later at the age of 14 she looked like a sixty year old. 

The Pianist - Roman Polanski

 ''The Pianist,'' is based on the memoirs of Wladyslaw Szpilman, a star of radio and society in Poland in the 1930's. He was a middle class Jew who lived through the period of the Warsaw ghetto. 


Quotes from Maus

“To die, it's easy. But you have to struggle for life.” 

“I know this is insane, but i somehow wish i had been in auschwitz with my parents so i could really know what they lived through! I guess it's some kind of guilt about having had an easier life than they did.”

“Friends? Your friends? If you lock them together in a room with no food for a week…Then you could see what it is, friends! …

“At that time it wasn’t anymore families. It was everybody to take care for himself!”

“It would take many books, my life, and no one wants anyway to hear such stories.”

“But POP – It’s great material. It makes everything more REAL – more human. I want to tell YOUR story, the way it really happened.”

“… I can tell you OTHER stories, but such PRIVATE things, I don’t want you should mention.” 
“Okay, okay – I promise.”


About the Text

The graphic novel 'Maus' by Art Spiegelman is based on the experiences of the author's father as a prisoner of the Auschwitz - Birkenau Death Camp during World War II. Using imagery and limited words, Spielberg has used the art form of cartoons to portray the horrors faced by the Jews and countless others deemed prisoners by the Nazi Regime. The novel also adresses the guilt and fear of surviors from the death camps and the subsequent impact on their children. 

Originally published in 1991, Maus has had critical acclaim as not only as a literary work but also an important record of the holocaust. Art Spiegelman won the Pultizer Prize for Maus in 1992. 

This guide will provide you with additional information and resources for your study of Maus. 

Check out the trailer for the novel.  


Spiegelman Lecture at SHU


Spiegelman discusses Maus and Meta Maus

Art Spiegelman discusses Maus & MetaMaus - BBC News


About the Author


Guardian Article: Art Spiegleman "Auschwitz became for us a safe place." In this article, Spiegleman talks about his struggle to get published and his relationship with his father.



Interview with the author

Interview with Art Spiegelman

NPR news interview audio

Study Questions


Additional Resources

Random House Notes including discussion and chapter questions.

A review of the novel for students.



All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.


“For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.” 

Elie Wiesel

“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”Elie Wiesel

“If we bear all this suffering and if there are still Jews left, when it is over, then Jews, instead of being doomed, will be held up as an example.”

Anne Frank

“Comics are a gateway drug to literacy.”

Art Spiegelman


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