Maus

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Anja’s nephew. Lolek is the son of Herman and Helen, and older brother of Lonia. Because his parents are abroad when the war breaks out, he stays with Anja and Vladek throughout much of the war. When the Nazis evacuate Srodula, the ghetto where the three of them are living, Lolek refuses to hide with Vladek and Anja in a bunker. He is sent to Auschwitz, but survives the war and later becomes an engineer and college professor.

Lolek Quotes in Maus

The Maus quotes below are all either spoken by Lolek or refer to Lolek . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Holocaust and the Responsibility of its Survivors Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Pantheon edition of Maus published in 1993.
Part 1, Chapter 5 Quotes

Anja: The whole family is gone! Grandma and grandpa! Poppa! Momma! Tosha! Bibi! My Richieu! Now they’ll take Lolek! … Oh God. Let me die too!

Vladek: Come, Anja, get up!

Anja: Why are you pulling me, Vladek? Let me alone! I don’t want to live!

Vladek: No, darling! To die, it’s easy … but you have to struggle for life! Until the last moment we must struggle together! I need you! And you’ll see that together we’ll survive.

Related Characters: Vladek Spiegelman (speaker), Anja (Anna) Spiegelman (speaker), Mr. Zylberberg, Matka Zylberberg , Richieu , Tosha , Bibi , Lolek , Mr. Karmio , Mrs. Karmio
Page Number: I.122
Explanation and Analysis:

As the situation for European Jews deteriorates, Vladek's wife, Anja, falls into despair. She's endured more suffering than most people would have to deal with in ten lifetimes: her entire family, more or less, has been killed, or is on the way to death. Anja can barely stand to live any longer, so great is her misery.

At this moment in the text, Anja relies heavily on Vladek for emotional support. Her desire to give up in the face of such horror is entirely understandable, but Vladek takes a different view. He tries to convince Anja to be strong and optimistic: he says that they have a profound responsibility--they owe it to their dead relatives to survive the Holocaust together. One great tragedy of the Holocaust is that even when the victims survived (as Vladek and Anja did), they had to live with the agony and guilt of being the last living members of their families.

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Lolek Character Timeline in Maus

The timeline below shows where the character Lolek appears in Maus. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 4
Family, Identity, and Jewishness Theme Icon
...sister, Tosha; Tosha’s husband, Wolfe; their daughter, Bibi; and Anja’s niece and nephew, Lonia and Lolek, whose parents, Herman and Helen, were in New York visiting the World’s Fair when the... (full context)
The Holocaust and the Responsibility of its Survivors Theme Icon
...Stara Sosnowiec, he seeks more legitimate work, in a carpentry shop managed by the Germans. Lolek and Mr. Zylberberg work in the shop as well. None of the men are paid... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 5
Death, Chance, and Human Interdependence Theme Icon
...Sosnowiec to work in German shops: Anja and Tosha in a clothing factory, he and Lolek in a carpentry shop. By this time, the Germans have installed Jews as guards and... (full context)
Death, Chance, and Human Interdependence Theme Icon
...Vladek and the Zylberberg family move houses. He and Anja, Mr. and Mrs. Zylberberg, and Lolek are the only ones left. They build another bunker, this time in the attic. That... (full context)
The Holocaust and the Responsibility of its Survivors Theme Icon
Family, Identity, and Jewishness Theme Icon
Grief, Memory, and Love Theme Icon
Death, Chance, and Human Interdependence Theme Icon
...Vladek bribes Haskel with a diamond ring. Haskel says he can get Vladek, Anja, and Lolek out of the ghetto, but that it will be too conspicuous if he tries to... (full context)
The Holocaust and the Responsibility of its Survivors Theme Icon
Family, Identity, and Jewishness Theme Icon
...shoe shop (Haskel has made escape plans of his own) and invite Vladek, Anja, and Lolek to hide with them when the time comes. Lolek refuses to hide. He is fifteen... (full context)
Family, Identity, and Jewishness Theme Icon
Grief, Memory, and Love Theme Icon
Death, Chance, and Human Interdependence Theme Icon
With Lolek gone, Anja becomes hysterical. They have recently heard the news about Richieu’s death – and... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 4
The Holocaust and the Responsibility of its Survivors Theme Icon
Family, Identity, and Jewishness Theme Icon
Grief, Memory, and Love Theme Icon
Death, Chance, and Human Interdependence Theme Icon
...distraught, Vladek says, and her suicide followed a few years later. There are pictures of Lolek, who survived Auschwitz and became “an engineer and a big-shot college professor.” Vladek tells Artie... (full context)