MCMINN COUNTY, Tenn. — The U.S. Holocaust Museum responded to a Tennessee school board after it decided to remove a graphic novel about Holocaust survivors from its curriculum.
“Maus” is a Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel by comic artist Art Spiegelman.
The novel follows his Jewish parents in 1940s Poland as they deal with anti-Semitism and are later interned at Auschwitz, a German-occupied concentration camp.
The book depicts Jewish people as mice and Nazis as cats.
The McMinn County Board of Education voted 10-0 to remove "Maus" from the curriculum, due to concerns about “rough, objectional language” and nudity.
The book contains a drawing of a nude woman.
The board also said "Maus" should be replaced with another book without objectionable content.
The Director of Schools at McMinn County, Lee Parkinson said during a school board meeting that “two or three” people raised concerns about the book.
He also said an attorney advised him to redact the profanity in the book, as well as the drawing of the woman.
But there were concerns over copyright issues if the book was altered.
In response to the decision, the U.S. Holocaust Museum tweeted, “it is more important than ever for students to learn this history.”
Tweets went on to say that “books like Maus can inspire students to think critically about the past and their own roles and responsibilities today.”
The school board’s decision came two weeks before International Holocaust Remembrance Day, observed on January 27.
January 27 marks the day Jews were liberated from Auschwitz in 1945.
The United Nations urges every member state to honor the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust.