Haskel is a cousin of Vladek’s who is able to schmooze his way into favor with the German soldiers occupying Sosnowiec. Through his influence, Vladek and Anja are able to escape deportation to Auschwitz for a time. Vladek calls Haskel a “Kombinator,” a schemer (I.5.118). In many ways, Haskel is like Vladek, always trying to figure out a way to survive. But unlike Vladek, Haskel does not help others for free, and even accepts money without giving the aid he promised.