| Quote #1
“It was many, many such stories – synagogues burned, Jews beaten with no reason, whole towns pushing out all Jews – each story worse than the other.” (I.2.35)
In this quote, Vladek hears about the treatment of Jews in Germany. No longer regarded as full citizens, they are the victims of state-sanctioned violence.
| Quote #2
“International laws protected us a little as Polish war prisoners. But a Jew of the Reich, anyone could kill in the streets!” (I.3.63)
Ironically, Vladek is safer as a Polish war prisoner than as a Jew in Germany. In matters of war, international convention prevails: war prisoners are entitled to certain basic rights. A Jew within the Reich, on the other hand, is subject to German laws, not international ones.
| Quote #3
“Don’t you know? ALL Jewish businesses have been taken over by ‘Aryan managers’…” (I.4.78)
The Nazis’ persecution of the Jews extended to all areas of life. The Jews’ property and wealth were taken away, and they were left with few options for making a living. Vladek loses his factory and must make do with what he can earn on the black market.