The Auschwitz Museum, together with the British Holocaust Education Trust (HET), urged Amazon and its boss, Jeff Bezos, to stop selling anti-Semitic books from Nazi Germany.
The Auschwitz Museum called the books “hateful, virulently anti-Semitic Nazi propaganda”.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) February 21, 2020
One of the titles is “The Poisonous Mushroom”, a 1938 children’s book, which openly promotes anti-Jewish topics. It was written by Ernst Hiemer and published by Julius Streicher, founder of the anti-Semitic Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer. In addition to “The Poisonous Mushroom”, Amazon offers two more children’s books published by Streicher.
“Such books should be removed immediately,” wrote the museum in a Twitter post on Friday.
Similarly, on Friday, the British HET published a statement on Twitter, addressing Bezos and pointing out that this is not the first time the HET has risen concerns about hateful items being sold on Amazon.
Nazi propaganda has no place on the electronic bookshelves of our country.
— H.E.T. (@HolocaustUK) February 21, 2020
Karren Pollock, chief executive of the HET, said in the statement that so far “the issue has still not been properly addressed”.
The HET statement focuses on the book “The Poisonous Mushroom” and its publisher, Streicher, who was “executed for crimes against humanity”.
“Specifically, ‘The Poisonous Mushroom’ was used as evidence in the Nuremberg Trials, with the record stating, ‘This book brands the Jew as a persecutor of the labor class, as a race defiler, devil in human form, a poisonous mushroom, and a murderer,’” says the statement.
As Deutsche Welle reports, Amazon offers the book in German, English, French, and Spanish.
“Over the last year and a half, Amazon has pulled several books by far-right authors including David Duke, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, and George Lincoln Rockwell, the founder of the American Nazi Party, according to the New York Times,” DW writes.
This month, the same book caused outrage in the Czech Republic as well, where the Czech Federation of Jewish Communities filed a legal complaint against local online bookstores offering such anti-Semitic literature.