Note To Russia: Maus Is Not Nazi Propaganda

Maus

Russia passed a law four months ago, banning anything that might be construed as “Nazi propaganda”.

For some reason, that means people in Russia are actually pulling Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel Maus from bookstore shelves.

For those who haven’t read the book, Spiegelman wrote and drew the story of his father, a Holocaust survivor, and how the man stayed alive in a concentration camp during World War II.  Spiegelman didn’t pull punches, showing his father as a cheap racist, while also trying to come to terms with the awful legacy of that moment in human history.  It is an incredibly deep, moving, and nuanced tale where Spiegelman uses animals, cute animals at that, to better tell his story.  The Jews are mice, the Germans are cats, the Americans are dogs, and so forth.

As Spiegelman himself would tell you, this book is not Nazi propaganda.  It is the opposite of Nazi propaganda.

No one is endorsing Nazism with a story that depicts scenes like this.
No one is endorsing Nazism with a story that depicts scenes like this.

But, it does have a mess of swastikas in it, which is good enough for some people who don’t actually read anything.

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