Maus : What enables Vladek and Art to survive?

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Survival is one of the Main themes in Maus, not just the obvious survival of Vladek in the Camps, but Arts Less obvious survival of his father and the media. Vladek is able to survive through his luck, intuition, resourcefulness and intelligence (education). Art is able to survive through his art and his ability to express himself on paper.

Vladek uses and trusts his intuition in many circumstances. When Vladek first enters the P.O.W camp, he bathed and exercised everyday "Every day I bathed and did gymnastics to keep strong" (p-54), even when the others said he was crazy, ironically they got wounds which got infected. "many others got frostbite wonds. In the wounds was pus, and in the pus was lice." (P-53). When the Germans needed volunteer workers to replace Germans that went to war go to war, Vladek trusted his intuition that this was not a trick, but that there was actually going to be work.

"I'm not going to die and I won't die here!".

Even as an Elderly man, Vladek is very resourceful, he saves everything. Being resourceful came in handy when it came to the camps. When he first escaped the POW camps, Vladek disguised himself as a non-Jewish Pole so he could get on a train to go home. "The Poles were very bitter on the Germans"(P-64). Once Vladek finally got to his family they Built Underground or hidden bunkers to hide from the Nazi's "We mare ourselves 'Bunkers', Places to hide. The germans started to grab out anybody, if he had papers or no" If it wasn't for Vladeks Resoursefulness came in use {bargaining, hammock in train}