Divine Intervention?

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You will come out of this place - FREE! ...on the day of Parshas Truma.
...
Art: Do you mean your 'parshas truma' dream actually came true?
Vladek: Yes - this is for me a very important date...
Vladeck: I checked later on a calendar. It was this parsha on the week I got married to Anja. ...And this was the parsha in 1948, after the war, on the week you were born! And so it came out to be this parsha you sang on the Saturday of your Bar Mitzvah!

Maus, pg. 57, 59

This isn't the first time I've heard of a victim of the Holocaust being visited by a divine being during their time of need. Last year, in Images of Jesus in Film, Dr. Leap showed a Christ-figure film about the Holocaust called Sophie School: The Final Days. Like Vladek, Sophie dreams of a divine being telling her to remain strong through her struggles. Obviously, Vladek makes it out alive--Sophie, who is not Jewish and is simply a German anarchist, is hung along with her co-conspirators. 

It's very interesting to me that both of these divine beings showed up in dreams. When I first read this in Maus, I thought it was a little far-fetched, but then he explains everything, and it's just incredible. 

My liberal arts education has taught me a lot about the Holocaust already. Last semester, I enrolled in Western Cultural Traditions II. We spent a lot of time studying Poland and all of the Holocaust victims. It really helps when reading a book like this, because it helps me to better understand the book. The Jews have always been a very perseverant group.

On a side note, I love that Art wrote the book in broken English. This really makes it feel like I'm listening to Vladek tell the story, instead of Art. I think it's remarkable that Vladek is able to remember so much during the Holocaust, specifically the conversations over the dinner table. I suppose things were different back then--they didn't have all the distractions my age does, like television and videogames, and the internet. Books like this really are essential to our society, because we will reach a point where there are no living Holocaust survivors left--only their stories will remain.

For more reactions to Maus, see our course website.

2 Comments

I know what you mean about not totally believe his divine intervention at first. It takes a lot for me to believe something happened from nothing, but I thought after he explained everything it was pretty powerful. Also, when I was reading this I loved how there was broken english. It made it not only more realistic but it helped me connect better with the characters. I will disagree that despite all the distractions we have, if something that traumatic happened it us, we would remember ever single minute of it.

I completely agree with you about the broken English!! I blogged about it actually... I really like the feeling of being told a story (even if I have to read it myself). I feel like this style of writing really helps MAUS feel much more personal...

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This page contains a single entry by Jessie published on October 16, 2009 7:44 AM.

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