FIMS Graduate Library’s Statement on the banning of Art Spiegelman’s Maus

by Paul Hickling

When Art Spiegelman’s Maus was originally published, it was a revelation for the western comics industry and expanded the possibilities of the medium. Spiegelman used his talents as both a writer and an artist to share a deeply personal narrative. Through conversations with his father, Spiegelman not only provides an unflinching look at the horrific realities of Jewish life in Nazi Germany, but also documents the lived experiences of his own family during the Holocaust and the subsequent intergenerational trauma that is inseparable from these events. It is for these reasons that Maus continues to resonate so deeply with readers today. 

This is why we are disappointed by McMinn County School Board’s decision to ban Maus. While the School Board claims that they do not object to teaching students about the Holocaust, there is something lost by only providing students with materials that provide a broad historical overview or take a quantitative approach to measuring the devastation caused by the Nazi regime. Maus reminds us of the importance of documenting the personal experiences of survivors, and the role these stories play in educating future generations about the realities of genocide. 

We have both volumes of Maus in our collection, and we highly recommend borrowing them if you have never experienced them before:

And here is a link to our complete listing of our graphic novels:

Part I and Part II of Maus
Volumes I and II of Maus A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman.