German New Comics

Germany launches comic book on Holocaust.
I quote..”New book part of effort to combat anti-semitism in Germany, which has a rapidly growing Jewish community”..”Created by the Dutch cartoonist Eric Heuvel”…”The book, based on fact, describes how Jews in Germany and the Nazi-occupied Netherlands experienced the genocidal Nazi persecution that took the lives of 6 million European Jews.”…” Through pictures and realistic dialogue, the book depicts the suffering and humiliation that Jews endured as they were stripped of their livelihoods, ostracized and, finally, sent to camps to be worked to death or gassed…”[The] comic book is called “The Search,” and tells the story of Esther, a fictional Jewish survivor of the Holocaust.”…see here.
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The Search
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Comics book and Holocaust is an oxymoron: something like “being dead”. It is hard to find some comic attributes in this gigantic massacre. Looking at the comics and their style reminds me directly of “Tintin et Milou”, the know comics characters made by the Belgian Georges Rémi, alias Hergé.
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Tintin et Milou
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Now, the “Tintin style”  has the same oxymoron quality by trying to illustrate a feroce reality of death with beautiful drawings.  Taking a look at the Eric Heuvels drawings and comparing them to the real photos of the Nazi regime, we see:
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1933 - Nazis stage boycott of Jewish shops and businesses
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Boycott pickets outside No. 79 Grindelallee, 1st April 1933.
Boycott pickets outside No. 79 Grindelallee, 1st April 1933, see more.
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The Night of the Long Knives
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200 synagogues were burn
“SS leader Reinhard Heydrich reported 7500 businesses destroyed, 267 synagogues burned (with 177 totally destroyed) and 91 Jews killed”, see here.
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Transport of Jews. 1941
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Razzia of Jews
The first major raid in the Amsterdam jodenbuurt, at the end of February 1941. At the Jonas Daniel Meyerplein were arrested, driven together, see more.
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I am aware that the German edition of this comics book is intended for pupils of the German schools . But there are people, much older, in their fifties and sixties, who remember the veritable atrocity of the Nazi Era-  atrocity embellished here for an educational purpose by the Tintin-style style and so perhaps leading by inadvertence kids or parts of the today general public to  made the colossal unforgivable mistake that the Holocaust is a super comics adventuresee here and here.
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I published this story on NowPublic and add here the comments by  NowPublic editors and contributing members.
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good stuff:korzac, interesting observations, thank you for posting.

However, I think that there is a place for the graphic novel to tell the stories of tragedy. In relation to the Holocaust, I think the best example is the Maus series. And In the Shadow of No Towers, Spiegelman’s graphic novel about 9/11 he presents another tragic topic in this medium.

To be specific about Art Spiegelman’s ‘Maus’, he sets the stage, to show by a ‘metaphorical’ rude way of drawings and telling the storie, that the tragedy is on the limit of the visible, another planet, created by the Nazis. A graphic novel  like ‘The Search’ is a nice superficial didactic ‘skin’ having its own legitimacy, but it is only a facade. “Maus” is not a facade..

ryan, thanks for the comment and the flag

I appreciate that distinction.Do you think Spiegleman’s work is different becuase of his personal history and experience?

Art Spiegelman’s work is different because he has an unique talent to make it different. He was born in 1948, after the war. His ‘experience’ comes from the history of his family who did not survive the Holocaust. “Maus” is the story of millions of Jews based on this own recollection of his family story. I can see myself as a kid and my family in Belgium and in Poland, in the characters of ‘Maus’. I cannot see the same in the graphic novel ‘The Search’.To do this I need the real photos. With ‘Maus I don’t need photos, I feel the awe the dread and the pain.

good stuff: Constructive discourse about difficult topics, no matter the medium, is positive in my opinion.  Rugs can only hide so much.

Thanks for the comment and the flag.

This story fascinated me, and I had not heard of it before. I think however, with a subject matter as controversial and young as the Holocaust, a comic book has no place here. It will be interesting to see however how the Jewish community in any country reacts to it, and I suppose if it’s well received there then I have no business commenting on it in the first place!

Let it be a movie a book, poetry, visual art and media publication, having as their subject matter the Holocaust, their publication will arise a controversy.The survivors interpret any objective historical study as blaspheming…The Dutch German comics cannot overcome their feelingsBut see what German students say. I quote …..”It sounds a bit blunt but I think it’s dangerous if students can’t differentiate between a Holocaust comic and Mickey Mouse,” said Henning Küppers, a history teacher at a high school in Stuttgart.”….  …”Others point out that “The Search” can hardly compare to other Holocaust comics, in particular Art Spiegelmann’s famous   “Maus” which is considered a classic and a revolution in the genre.”… .”In an interview with Berliner Zeitung, Tobias    Strunk from a specialty comic book shop called the Anne Frank Holocaust comic book “a bit forced.”… see here.

amyjudd,thanks for the comment.

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Four more comics drawings and photos,(not included in the above post)
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Transports of Jews
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Transport Jews Lodz 1942
Loading transports of Jews at Lodz station, 1942, see here.
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After the selection gaz chambers Jews
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Selection Auschwitz
Selection at the Auschwitz ramp in 1944, where the Nazis chose whom to kill immediately and whom to use as slave labour or for medical experimentation, see here.
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Gaz Chambers and Crematorium
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Auschwitz Gaz chamber door
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Gaz Chamber
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ZyclonB
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Crematorium
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Crematorium
Crematorium furnaces in the Gusen concentration camp after the liberation. (May 6-30, 1945) see here.
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