Maus: A Survivor's Tale Book II, Chapter 4 Summary
It is late autumn, and Art visits his father again. Vladek wants Art to help him put up storm windows, but Art convinces him to continue on with his story.
According to Vladek, Anja made it back to their hometown, Sosnowiec, through the Russian side of Poland. She was helped for much of the way by Mancie.
Vladek’s liberation took some time longer. He and the other prisoners neared the Swiss-German border to be exchanged for other prisoners, but instead, the train stopped. Vladek and the other prisoners leave the car, not sure where to turn. All of a sudden, a German Wehramacht patrol comes up and ushers them to a lake, where they plan to shoot the prisoners. But the prisoners survive the night; one of the SS officers’ girlfriend had convinced him not to shoot.
The prisoners find themselves free again, but then they are accosted by another German patrol, which takes them to a barn. All night, the prisoners listen to the fighting in the hills. By morning, this German patrol has also disappeared.
The prisoners fan out, uncertain of where to go. Vladek and his friend Shivek hide in a pit behind a garage, but the garage owner tries to get a German patrol to kill them.
Vladek and Shivek next find an abandoned barn to hide in. When they hear an explosion, they realize that the Germans are blowing up the bridges as they retreat.
Vladek and Shivek find some civilian clothes and some food. But their stomachs are so unused to food that they become ill.
Finally, the American soldiers show up. They station themselves in the house, and Vladek and Shivek are happy to work for their keep.
Vladek breaks from his story, and shows Art a box of old photographs. Each photograph is of a family member, and Vladek tells Art about each of their fates as they go through the photographs.
Vladek lets Art take the photographs, but nearly has another heart attack. With no time left to put up the storm windows, Art gets his father to lie down.