The Schmooze

Comics, Americans and the Holocaust

The latest collaboration between Holocaust educator Rafael Medoff and comics giant Neal Adams is their most moving — literally.

“They Spoke Out: American Voices of Protest Against the Holocaust” uses “motion comics” — panels with scrolling text, voiceovers, and archival newsreel footage — to tell the stories of Americans “who raised their voices, marched in protest, or even helped smuggle Jewish refugees out of Hitler’s Europe.”

Medoff, the founding director of David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies in Washington, D.C., has written extensively on the American response to the Holocaust. He and Adams, the legendary illustrator whose portfolio includes Batman and X-Men books, teamed on an acclaimed 2009 comic about Dina Babbitt, a Warner Brothers animator and Holocaust survivor.

Educational-video giant Disney Educational Products is distributing “They Spoke Out” as a DVD series; episodes are viewable online at TheySpokeOut.com.

The Arty Semite caught up with Medoff by email from Washington, D.C., where the Wyman Institute is based.

Michael Kaminer: After “Maus,” comics by Holocaust survivors like Miriam Katin, and other graphic work that deals with the subject, what are you hoping to bring to the table with this body of work?

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Comics, Americans and the Holocaust

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