What Do You Call People Who Burn Books Critical of Nazis?

A school board in Tennessee voted unanimously this month to ban “Maus,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust, from being taught in its classrooms because the book contains material that board members said was inappropriate for students.

According to minutes of its meeting, the 10-person board, in McMinn County, Tenn., voted on Jan. 10 to remove the book from the eighth-grade curriculum. Members of the board said the book, which portrays Jews as mice and Nazis as cats in recounting the author’s parents’ experience during the Holocaust, contained inappropriate curse words and a depiction of a naked character. [Spoiler this is the a depiction author’s mother suicide in a bathtub]

“There is some rough, objectionable language in this book,” said Lee Parkison, the director of schools for McMinn County, in eastern Tennessee, according to minutes of the meeting.

Art Spiegelman, the author of “Maus,” said he was baffled by the decision. “This is disturbing imagery,” he said in an interview on Thursday, which is Holocaust Remembrance Day. “But you know what? It’s disturbing history.”

After reading the minutes of the meeting, Mr. Spiegelman said he got the impression that the board members were asking, “Why can’t they teach a nicer Holocaust?”

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