In 1938, on the eve of the Holocaust, a collection of fifty-eight short stories appeared in New York. The collection opens with outcasts in New York trying to survive and ends with an uprising against a pogrom in Warsaw, mirroring the historical situation in Europe at the eve of the Holocaust. The title, Mentshn un khayes (People and Animals), indicates a connection between men and animals. 1 In the twentieth century it becomes a main theme in expressionist art: there the artist identifies himself with hunted and suffering animals, especially with ‘The Red Deer’ (‘das rote Wild’), as it can be found in Trakl’s poems, Franz Marc’s paintings, or Leoš Janáček’s music. 2 Animals as a metaphor for the pains and sorrows of the Jewish people are also present in Yiddish literature. 3 Another example showing the common tragic destiny between men and animals is to be found in Chaim Soutine’s paintings representing skinned animals, which inspired Francis Bacon’s work on this topic; the word ‘skinned’ is used in the original French titles as in Le lapin écorché or Le bœuf écorché. 4 The innovation for the author of the collection, Joseph Opatoshu, who was familiar with nature and animals through his background, is to depict them as other beings with common feelings and faculties. 5 He establishes a kind of ‘humanimal’ world, which is to be found in Kafka’s animal stories and which is reflected by Deleuze’s and Guattari’s concept of the ‘becoming-animal’. 6 Mo Yan, the winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize for Literature, who grew up in a peasant environment and whose work pays attention to animals in our human society, illustrates this fusional relationship pointed out by Opatoshu. 7