Art Spiegelman, the American cartoonist of the graphic novel Maus, was born in 1948 in Sweden and immigrated with his parents in 1951 to the United States. In Maus, Art Spiegelman interviews his father about his experiences in Poland during the Holocaust. His parents Władysław and Andzia Spiegelman are Polish Jews from Sosnowiec, a city in the same region as Będzin. In Maus, they are called Vladek and Anja.
Jane Lipski and Art Spiegelman belong to the same extended Spiegelman family from the region in Upper Silesia (Poland). As a girl, Jane was called Yadzia Szpiegelman. Her father and Art’s father were cousins.
In the graphic novel Maus (serialized in the 1980s before it was published as a book), the story of Art and his father is framed as a conversation that begins in New York City. It then moves back and forth between the present father-son relation and the story of Vladek’s survival in Poland. Maus also depicts the event when Jews from Sosnowiec—Vladek and Anja among them—are forced to move into the Srodula ghetto. Srodula was right next to Kamionka, the ghetto of Będzin’s Jews.
Art also struggles with the memory of his brother Rysio (called “Richieu” in Maus) whom he never met because Rysio had not survived. Trying to come terms with his “ghost brother” also sheds light on the situation of children of survivors.
Maus was the first graphic novel to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1992.