American cartoonist Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel “Maus”, which was banned by a Tennessee school board a day before International Holocaust Remembrance Day, has become number one on Amazon’s best-sellers list.
The iconic story of a Holocaust survivor – which depicts Nazis as cats and Jews as mice – that won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992, was inspired by the story of the author’s parents who survived the horrors of the Auschwitz concentration camp.
The immense surge in sales of the book followed after the McMinn County School Board in Tennessee removed “Maus” from the curriculum due to the graphic elements -inappropriate language and nude images – earlier in January.
Spiegelman’s graphic novel, which is now not available for delivery until mid-February, was at number 12 on the list, but then spiked in popularity following the ban, reaching the top position, along with the “Complete Maus” edition which reached the third place after entering the list and is now also completely out of stock.
Before last Monday, neither edition of the novel was even in the top 1,000.
Spiegelman, who is now 73, said last week that he was baffled by the ban and called the Tennessee school board “Orwellian” for its actions, stressing that many young people have learned things from his book.
He also called the widely conservative Tennessee ‘obviously demented’, pointing that there’s something going on there that is “very, very haywire.”
Experts underscore that banning of Holocaust books will only feed into antisemitism since it helps erase the horrific genocide of the Jewish people by the Nazis.