The black and white, cat and mouse, Jew and German truth.
"What happened? We had to deliver them. They thought it was to Theresienstadt they were going. But they went ight away to Auschwitz, to the gas." (Spiegelman 87)
This quote was disturbing, surprising, disappointing, and honest. The above quote is an explanation of the events that occurred after the police told Vladek's family to either hand over the grandparents that lived with them or be arrested themselves. I think Artie's question, "So, what happened?" really represents our expectations and feelings of the Holocaust. We're used to reading stories of sacrifice, heroism, and selflessness (and in many ways this is also that kind of story), but here Spiegelman is completely truthful, saying, "No, my father and his family didn't risk death to save their grandparents. However, my father survived."
It comes back to the quote at the begining of the graphic novel. "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!" One theme that can resonate through Holocaust literature is what humans have left when everything is stripped away, their home, their friends, their family, their dignity. Some people may think that they would never turn over a member of their family or a friend in order to buy their own life, but I imagine Vladek and his family all thought the same thing. I am definitely not criticizing, belittling, or demeaning the choices that were made, but it is something to think about: What do we have left when we have nothing left?
For another moving book about the Holocaust, I recommend Night by Elie Wiesel
Cody also talks about some of the techniques Spiegelman uses to truthfully portray the events of the Holocaust.