Dr. Suess museum chided for failing to address head-on his racist statements during WW2

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tags: racism, WWII, Dr Suess museum, Dr Suess



Through the front door of the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum in Springfield, Mass., the mind of the beloved children’s book author Theodor Seuss Geisel springs to life. The new three-floor museum is lush with murals, including one with a proo, a nerkle, a nerd and a seersucker, too. Around one corner, visitors will find an immense sculpture of Horton the Elephant from “Horton Hears a Who!”

But the museum, which opened on June 3, displays a bit of amnesia about the formative experiences that led to Mr. Geisel’s best-known body of work. It completely overlooks Mr. Geisel’s anti-Japanese cartoons from World War II, which he later regretted.

Far from the whimsy of “Fox in Socks” (1965), Mr. Geisel drew hundreds of political cartoons for a liberal newspaper, “PM,” from 1941 to 1943, a little-known but pivotal chapter of his career before he became a giant of children’s literature. Many of the cartoons were critical of some of history’s most reviled figures, such as Hitler and Mussolini.

But others are now considered blatantly racist. Shortly before the forced mass incarceration of Japanese-Americans, Mr. Geisel drew cartoons that were harshly anti-Japanese and anti-Japanese-American, using offensive stereotypes to caricature them.





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