Early Holocaust Narratives in Comics

mannequin of murder witches tales

Traditional narratives of Holocaust literature typically begin in the 1950s with the English-language publication of Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl and, following the Eichmann trial, the outpouring of testimony, fiction, and public discourse. Survivors, such narratives typically suggest, were generally unwilling to talk about their experiences prior to the 1960s and while the fact of the Holocaust was acknowledged in chronicles of World War II, it did not take a central place.

The one area where the Holocaust was being explored long before the Eichmann trail and the ‘Americanisation’ that was to follow, however, was in horror comics.  Titles such as Impact, Voodoo, and Witches Tales all feature comics which, either directly or through allusion, reference the Holocaust. This paper seeks to examine representations of the death camps. In many cases these stories anticipate later forms of public discourse of the Holocaust.

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Oxford Comics Network, TORCH Networks