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Russian Bookstores Remove Holocaust Graphic Novel From Shelves

Russian worker installs a banner for the upcoming Victory Day celebrations on Moscow's Red Square, April 27

Bookstores in Russia are removing from their shelves copies of a graphic novel about the Holocaust, reportedly because its cover shows a Nazi swastika.

Maus, by American author Art Spiegelman, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992 and was published in Russian in 2013.

Three of Moscow's largest bookstores -- Biblio Globus, Moskva, and Moskovsky Dom Knigi -- had removed the book from their shelves and Internet stores by April 27.

Russian journalist Darya Peshchikova said on Twitter that bookstores were preempting raids by the authorities ahead of May 9, when Russia marks 70 years since Soviet victory over the Nazis in World War II.

Russian authorities have moved to censor the Nazi symbol, citing a law which forbids "Nazi propaganda."

Maus tells the author's personal story of the Holocaust, using animal metaphors that portray Jews as mice and Germans as cats.

Based on reporting by AFP