On page 94 of Maus II: A Survivor's Tale, Vladek trades some of his food for a lice-free shirt that he carefully cleans and wraps in paper. He later presents the clean shirt in order to get soup.

Why did Vladek need to present a clean shirt to get soup?

Vladek presents a clean shirt for soup

1 Answer 1


He gets fed if he passes inspection. Failure to pass inspection would be punished by not getting food, or at least not good food.

Lice were important because they could bear disease and kill off the inmates more quickly. This would impede the work, because the new inmates would need to be trained. So they punish those who bear lice.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.