I’m fascinated by World War II.
I mean, I’m not a war buff. But Nazis, Hitler…it’s fascinating!
Not because I agree with what Hitler said, or with what the Nazis did. I’m intrigued, rather, by the fact that people can be so easily convinced that something is right, when it’s clearly wrong. It’s hard to imagine that anybody could be ok with how Jews were treated (and, in some cases, still are treated), yet many were/are.
This fascination of mine is what inspired me to put Maus on my Christmas list last year.
Maus is a graphic novel written about one man’s perspective during WWII. If you don’t know what a graphic novel is, it’s basically like reading a very long comic book. And – in this comic – Jews are mice, Germans are cats, etc…
Throughout the book, the reader bounces between the author interviewing his father, and the stories that his father is sharing about his own experience as a Jew during WWII.
This was my first time reading a graphic novel, and, to be honest, I didn’t know it was a graphic novel until I got it. So I was curious how I’d enjoy reading a book in this format.
But I thought it was great!
Everything is very straightforward when you can cut out all the fluff of “he said, she declared, they yelled, etc…” And, being that this book is written about such a serious topic, the straightforwardness of the book is very powerful.
I understand not everybody will want to read this book. My wife, for example, is never going to read it. We both know that she would find it too upsetting.
But I wish more people would read books about WWII. I think it’s a valuable opportunity to see what people are capable of doing and believing. After all, it’s easier to admit that evil things happened in the past than to admit that they currently happen…
But that’s for another time.