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Russian Store Halts Sale of Novel About Holocaust Ahead of Victory Day

A detail from the cover of graphic novel "Maus."

A graphic novel about the Holocaust has been removed from the shelves of a Moscow bookstore ahead of Victory Day because it features an image of a swastika on the front cover.

Writer Margarita Varlamova said via Facebook that she had tried to buy a copy of “Maus” in the Moscow House of Books only to be told by the store worker to come back after May 9, when Russia celebrates the 70th anniversary of the allied victory over Nazi Germany.

“I said, goodness — it's an anti-fascist novel,” Varlamova said Thursday in her post, adding that the issue was resolved when a security guard brought out a copy of the book under cover of his jacket.

Maus, penned by cartoonist Art Spiegelman, details the experiences of Spiegelman's father — a Polish Jew and a Holocaust survivor. In 1992, the anti-fascist comic became the first graphic novel to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize.

The book's removal comes after a criminal case was opened earlier this month against a store for children in downtown Moscow over the sale of Nazi figurines.

Prosecutors described the figurines as busts of soldiers and Nazi officers, including the Waffen SS, wearing uniforms commonly seen among such forces between 1939 and 1945.

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