Banned Book 22 - Maus

The Complete Maus - Art Spiegelman


                Recently Maus got into trouble in Russia because a Russian depicts the showing of the Nazi Swastika, and the symbol is on the cover of this groundbreaking novel.  This is somewhat amusing considering that the book is anything but an endorsement of Hitler.


                Maus takes the story of the Holocaust and presents in a way that while not dulling the horror of the facts, allows the reader some space.  It still is hard hitting, still upsetting, but because the story also focuses on life after the Holocaust and the effect the Holocaust has on those who survived, including into the following generations.


                In addition to the symbol, some readers are offended by the portrayal of various nationalities by various animals.  Americans are dogs, the Nazis are cats, the Jews are mice, and the Poles are pigs.  It was this last bit that got some people upset.  While it is true that the Poles were victims of the Nazis as well (the Germans saw Poles and Russians as less than human), the Poles, for a variety of reasons, where not always friends of Jews during the time of Nazi control.  It is hardly surprising that this fact affects the view of Poles.


                But isn’t it important to remember things such as this as well?  Isn’t best to raise curiosity?