A school board of Tennessee has recently added to the wave of banning books by conservatives to remove the award-winning graphic novel called ‘Maus’ written by Art Spiegelman, published in 1986.
The book was based on the Holocaust, a story of a survivor who lived through the dark times in Germany. The author’s father who survived the holocaust, the book was based on his experiences.
The author Art Spiegelman told the media on 27th January, which is known as the international Holocaust day, that banning the book for crude language was ‘myopic’ and it represents a much ‘bigger and stupider’ problem than any cartoon character may seem.
The ban was decided by the McMinn Country Board of Education in eastern Tennessee on the 10th of January. And this decision raised nationwide turmoil among the advocates of literary freedom. And the topic became a burning question in the last few days.
The conservatives are seeking to exclude some books that they find objectionable, from the school libraries. And to replace them with similar works, which do not have that offensive accent according to them. They would provide traditional views on US history and culture, particularly from the viewpoints of African Americans, LGBTQ youths, and various other minorities, instead of any alternative views.
‘Maus’ is a highly acclaimed novel, which holds a compilation of his works. Being a Polish Jew how his father has to face the Nazis in a concentration camp during the Holocaust.
The book depicted the characters of the story as animals. Jews are mice and the Germans are cats. This book won Pulitzer Prize and other awards and was accepted in many secondary schools as a strong and accurate depiction of the Nazis murdering millions of Jews during World War II.
The ban of this book by McMinn Country School was based on specific eight crude words like ‘Damn’ and ‘Bitch’ along with a scene of nudity. This was inappropriate to the school students according to some parents.
Some argued the fact by saying that, teaching students about the holocaust is important, and to do that they need several books to have a proper view of the gut-wrenching times of history.
‘It shows people hanging, it shows people them killing kids, why does the educational system promote this kind of stuff, it is not wise or healthy,’ says a board member Tony Allman.
Those who defended the book also voted with their opponents in order to avoid legal procedures.
‘They are totally focused on some bad words that are in the book… I can’t believe that’ says the author from his home in Switzerland.
The statement said, ‘Teaching about the Holocaust using books like ‘Maus’ can inspire students to think critically about the past and their own roles and responsibilities today.’
David Harris, the chief executive of the American Jewish Committee said, ‘Given the pronounced lack of knowledge about the Holocaust in the US, especially among younger Americans, a Tennessee school board decision to ban Maus … is beyond comprehension.’