| Quote #1
“He wrote that we had to give over the grandparents even if they took only him away now.” (I.4.89)
The elderly were among the first Jews to be sent to the concentration camps. In this scene, Anja’s father is coerced into giving up her grandparents to the Nazis.
| Quote #2
“When did you first hear about Auschwitz?” “Right AWAY we heard … even from there – from that other world – people came back and told us. But we didn’t believe.” (I.4.90)
The Allies’ inaction in the face of the reality of the concentration camps has been controversial. As Vladek explains here, the stories about the concentration camps were so nightmarish and so horrifying that they were difficult to believe.
| Quote #3
“So we got stamped our passport and came quick to the good side of the stadium. Those they sent left, they didn’t get any stamp.” (I.4.92)
These types of Selektions are common scenes in the novel, where the Jews who are able to work are separated off from those deemed infirm, elderly, or immature.