‘Maus’ banned from schools due to Holocaust-related images


On Jan. 10, the McMinn County School Board in Tennessee unanimously voted to remove Maus from the eighth-grade curriculum. Maus is a graphic novel written by Art Spiegelman that depicts the lives of Jews during the Holocaust, inspired by the stories of Spiegelman’s parents, who were both survivors of the Auschwitz concentration camp. 

The school board voted to remove the Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel because it includes adult nudity and profanity. The novel portrays Jews as mice and Nazis as cats, containing images of characters being hanged, but none of the images consist of human drawings.

“This is disturbing imagery,” Spiegelman said in an interview with the New York Times. “But you know what? It’s disturbing history.” 

The school board put out a statement saying it removed Maus due to its “unnecessary use of profanity and nudity and its depiction of violence and suicide.” The board went on to say it still believes in the teachings of the Holocaust but in more appropriate ways.

During the meeting, board member Rob Shamblin brought up that if Maus were to be removed for profanity, other books would need to be removed as well. 

“That falls under another topic for another day,” said Chairman Sharon Brown in response.

The school board issued its decision one day prior to International Holocaust Remembrance Day.