Tennessee school district removing Pulitzer-winning Holocaust graphic novel ‘Maus’

A Tennessee school board voted this month to remove the Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust, “Maus,” from an eighth grade language arts curriculum because of profanity and a depiction of female nudity, WATE reported.

The vote by the McMinn County School Board, in east Tennessee, occurred on Jan. 10 but began drawing national attention on Wednesday.

“It’s leaving me with my jaw open, like, ‘What?’” “Maus” author Art Spiegelman told CNBC, referring to the unanimous vote to remove the book from the curriculum.

“I’ve met so many young people who … have learned things from my book,” Spiegelman added.

Spiegelman called the board “Orwellian” for its removal of the book, which he wrote about his parents’ experiences.

Spiegelman also said he suspected the vote was motivated by the subject of the book, detailing Polish Jews’ experience of the Holocaust, rather than by profanity, calling the state of Tennessee “demented.” 

“There’s something going on very, very haywire there,” Spiegelman said.

“Maus” tells the story of Jews being tortured and murdered by Nazis during the Holocaust and includes details about Spiegelman’s family life after the genocide, including his mother’s suicide and his relationship with his father.

The novel won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992, among other awards.

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