Teaching the Holocaust Through Comic Books

07 May 2018

Comic book artist Neal Adams and Holocaust historian Rafael Medoff have teamed up with author and artist Craig Yoe to produce We Spoke Out: Comic Books and the Holocaust, an analysis of how comic books have taught the Holocaust over the past few decades.

“It struck us that comic books apparently were one of the ways in which American teenagers were learning about the Holocaust at a time when most of them were not learning about it in school,” Medoff said.

Adams, 76, said that comics are a means to present the horrors of the Holocaust in a way that people can endure. When Adams was 10, he lived in West Germany, where his father was stationed with the US Army. After being shown three hours of concentration camps footage, he was so traumatized that he didn’t speak for a week.

“One of the advantages to comics over movies and TV is that you can read at your own pace, especially important stories like these,” said Yoe. “You can stop and ponder a particular panel, or go back and look at the other thing.”

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