8 Aug 2014

Spiegelman. ch2. of Maus I, “The Honeymoon”, summary


by Corry Shores
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Art Spiegelman

Maus: A Survivor’s Tale
, vol.1

The Honeymoon




Brief Summary:

With the help of his wife Anja’s wealthy father, Vladek Spiegelman builds a textile factory. They later have their first child, Richieu, but shortly after Anja suffers a breakdown. She and Vladek spend three months in a sanitarium while she recovers. When they return, they learn the factory was robbed. Again with the father-in-law’s help, they rebuild the factory, and they are living in Bielsko. Vladek is drafted into the Polish army in 1939 to fight the war with Germany, and his wife and son return to Anja’s family in Sosnowiec.



Art Spiegelman continues visiting his father Vladek to interview him about his experiences as a Holocaust survivor. We see Vladek counting and sorting the many pills he takes for his health. We then learn that his first wife Anja had a communist boyfriend before she and Vladek married.

[page 27, switch to past] After the marriage, Anja was once arrested for translating into German and distributing the communist’s documents.
2.27.5 6
Anja was tipped off that the police would be searching for them. Anja was a loyal customer to seamstress tenant [of Art and Anja’s building] who agreed to hide the documents. The police eventually searched there and found them, but Anja was safe as the seamstress claimed she knew nothing of the papers.

2.28.3 4

[page 29, return to present time, then switch to past, then back to present, then back to past] Art compels Anja never to associate with this communist again. The seamstress had to serve some months in prison.


Anja’s wealthy father wanted his grandson to be well-off, so he offered Vladek the funding to start his own textile factory. In 1937 their first son is born Richieu.

2.30.1 2

[p.30 switch to present] Richieu will not survive the war. Art needed to be born prematurely, and the doctor had to break Art’s arm to remove him from Anja’s womb. This caused Art’s arm sometimes to rise like the salute to Hitler. Vladek demonstrates and knocks over his pill bottle, blaming Art.

2.30.7 9

[p.31 switch to past] Anja suddenly has a nervous breakdown.

2.31.1 5

They take her to a sanitarium in Czechoslovakia, and on the way, they see a Nazi flag hanging in a town. This is in 1938, before the war began.

2.32.1 5

The passengers then share their stories of Nazi abuses of Jews.

2.33.3 6

The sanatorium was very nice, with shops, a café, and a theatre. Vladek would take her dancing and tell her funny stories.


When they return home three months later, they learn from Anja’s father that the factory had been robbed. Fortunately Anja’s father can help them build it up again. [p.36 return to present; p.37 back to past and again to present] They become well-off again, but there are anti-Semitic riots in Bielsko where they live. They wonder if they should leave, and Vladek tells Anja that if things get bad, they could return to Sosnowiec. Vladek assumed it would be safer, because he thought that Hitler would only want cities that were once a part of Germany. [p.37 back to past] Then in 1939 Vladek was drafted into the Polish army to fight the war with Germany. As he leaves to join, Anja, Richieu and the governess go back to Sosnowiec to stay with Anja’s family.

2.38.5 6

[p.39 return to present] Vladek complains about his health problems with his eye and an irresponsible surgeon who failed to operate on it. Later, he needed to replace it with a glass eye. Vladek and Art then retire.


Spielgelman, Art. Maus: A Survivor’s Tale, vol 1. New York: Pantheon Books, 1986.



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