Imgres

The Life and Times of Vladek Spiegelman

By sc1214
  • Vladek is born

    Vladek is born
    Vladek was born in Poland in 1906 to a Jewish family.
  • Vladek is first drafted into the army

    Vladek is first drafted into the army
    After a year of starvation, Vladek's father finally allows him to join the army.
  • Vladek meets Anja

    Vladek meets Anja
    On his regular trip to visit family, a cousin introduces Vladek to a girl named Anja. They exchange phone numbers and begin to write each other letters regularly. Lucia finds out and Vladek leaves her for Anja.
  • Vladek and Anja are married

    Vladek and Anja are married
    Anja's father gives Vladek and Anja their own apartment in Sosnowiec at the end of 1936, and they marry in February of 1937.
  • Richieu is born

    Richieu is born
    Richieu Spiegelman, Vladek's first son, is born prematurely in Sosnowiec.
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    Vladek and Anja spend time in a sanitarium

    Anja suffers depression after giving birth, so her parents send her and Vladek to a sanitarium in order fof her to recover. On the way there, Vladek and Anja pass a small village and see the first signs of the Nazis.
    Anja has recovered greatly at the sanitarium, but when Vladek and Anja return, Anja's father informs Vladek that his factory in Bielsko has been robbed.
  • Vladek is drafted into the army and sent to the trenches

    Vladek is drafted into the army and sent to the trenches
    This is the beginning of Vladek's experience of WWII. At the trenches, he kills a man for the first time. Eventually, he and the rest of the soldiers are sent to a German prisoner-of-war camp and the Jews are separated from the others. At the POW camp they experience incredibly harsh conditions.
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    Vladek works in Germany

    At the POW camp, Vladek and the other Jewish prisoners are offered work in Germany to replace the Germans sent to war. Others are reluctant to take up the opportunity, but Vladek refuses to die in a prison camp.
    Vladek also has a dream of his dead grandfather telling him he will be free by "Parsha Truma," a section of the Torah read during a specific week. The people are taken out of the camp and brought to another, but there Vladek meets an old friend and is able to return home.
  • Vladek and other Jews of Sosnowiec sent to ghetto

    Vladek and other Jews of Sosnowiec sent to ghetto
    Vladek and Anja's family are sent to a ghetto and given very little space.
  • Vladek and Anja's family moved to another ghetto in Srodula

    Vladek and Anja's family moved to another ghetto in Srodula
    The family is given even less space than they had before. Vladek and Anja are forced to send Richieu away to keep him safe.
  • Vladek and Anja escape from the ghetto and go into hiding

    Vladek and Anja escape from the ghetto and go into hiding
    After hiding out for a time, Vladek and Anja are able to leave the ghetto, and they head back to Sosnowiec. They are turned away by Janina, Richieu's old governess, but they eventually find a place to hide.
  • Vladek and Anja are found and sent to Auschwitz

    Vladek and Anja are found and sent to Auschwitz
    Two smugglers offer to get Vladek and Anja into Hungary, but they instead hand them over to the Germans.
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    Vladek teaches English while in quarantine

    Vladek teaches a Kapo English and is rewarded with food and special treatment from the Kapo. Vladek is also able to gain some favors for his friend, Mandelbaum
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    Vladek and Anja serve in Auschwitz

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    Vladek works in a tin shop

    Vladek learns to bargain and bribe his bosses through this job. This skill allows him to make it through Auschwitz alive.
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    Vladek works in a shoe shop

    Vladek gets a much more rewarding job fixing shoes. S.S. officers often come to him with their broken shoes, and they pay him well with food.
  • Anja gets moved from Birkenau to Auschwitz

    Anja gets moved from Birkenau to Auschwitz
    With the help of Mancie and Vladek's job as a shoemaker, Anja is brought with a group of women into Auschwitz, and she and Vladek are (somewhat) reunited.
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    Vladek does "black work"

    Vladek is taken away from his job as a shoemaker to do hard, physical labor under harsh conditions and violent punishments.
  • Forced evacuation of Auschwitz (a.k.a. the Death Marches)

    Forced evacuation of Auschwitz (a.k.a. the Death Marches)
    Vladek and a few others organize a plan to escape the evacuation, but they run out, afraid of being bombed, at the last second. They march approximately 200 miles to Gross-Rosen, and then onto a boxcar of a train. Vladek fashions a hammock out of his blanket, effectively saving his own life. The survivors of the train cars are sent back into Germany.
  • Vladek and Anja go to Sweden

    Vladek and Anja go to Sweden
    After being reunited, Vladek and Anja decide to leave Poland. They travel by plane for the first time.
  • Art Spiegelman is born

    Art Spiegelman is born
    Art, Anja and Vladek's second son, is born in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Spiegelman family immigrates to the United States

    Spiegelman family immigrates to the United States
  • Anja Spiegelman commits suicide

    Anja Spiegelman commits suicide
    With another bout of depression, Anja takes her own life. Art and Vladek are devastated to lose her.
  • Mala leaves Vladek; Art and Francoise come

    Mala leaves Vladek; Art and Francoise come
    At this time, Mala and Vladek are living in a bungalow in the Catskills. When she leaves, Mala takes money out of their joint bank account. Art and Francoise join Vladek in order to help him out while Mala is gone. During their stay, Art and Vladek discuss much of Vladek's life during the war.
  • Vladek dies

    Vladek dies
    Vladek's death was due to congestive heart failure.