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Artie discovers that his father had burned all of his mother's diaries and journals. Vladek says he burnt them in a fit of sorrow and anger. I think that Artie has had it with his father. He finds Vladek very selfish, even through the war. He feels that he murdered his mother's memory. She can no longer live on in Artie's imagination and books. THere is also a sense that Vladek could have been emotionally abusive to her as he is to his current wife.