Raids To Rid Russia Of Nazi Imagery Run Amok
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Raids To Rid Russia Of Nazi Imagery Run Amok

Pulitzer-Prize winning ‘Maus’ is trashed

Hannah Dreyfus is a staff writer at the New York Jewish Week. She covers abuses of power in non-profit and religious settings. She heads up the Investigative Journalism Fund, an initiative to fill a gap in investigative and enterprise reporting. Reach her at hannah@jewishweek.org

In an attempt to rid Moscow of all Nazi imagery, bookstores mistakenly trashed the Pulitzer-Prize winning graphic novel, “Maus,” which tells the story of a Jewish family during the Holocaust.

The novel, written by cartoonist Art Spiegelman, portrays Jews as mice and Germans as cats in order to illustrate the horrors of Nazism and the concentration camps. The novel displays a caricature of a swastika on the cover.

The Russian government’s call to rid the shelves of swastikas and any other Nazi symbol came shortly before Victory Day, the celebration of the Soviet Union’s defeat of Germany. According to the New York Times, city officials announced last week that raids were scheduled to begin, sweeping the city of objects or symbols that “offend people’s religious feeling or question the national dignity of peoples,” both criminal offenses in Russia.

Independent bookstore owner Boris Kupriyanov said in an interview that the decision to ban “Maus” was made by “idiots.”

“An obliging fool is more dangerous than a foe,” he told the Times.

Spiegelman has not yet responded to request for comment.

Spiegelman’s daughter, Nadja Spiegleman, released her third graphic novel, “Lost in NYC,” this month.

hannah@jewishweek.org

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