Auschwitz museum demands Amazon drop ‘Nazi propaganda’ books

Holocaust memorial organization condemns Jeff Bezos, online marketplace for selling World War II-era anti-Semitic children’s books in German, English

The covers to anti-Semitic Nazi-era children's books on sale on Amazon. (Screenshot)
The covers to anti-Semitic Nazi-era children's books on sale on Amazon. (Screenshot)

The Auschwitz museum called Friday on Amazon owner Jeff Bezos to remove Nazi-era anti-Semitic children’s books from the online marketplace.

“Hateful, virulently antisemitic Nazi propaganda is available for sale not only on @AmazonUK,” the Auschwitz Memorial tweeted Friday on its official account.

“Books by authors like Julius Streicher can be found also on @amazon & @AmazonDE. Such books should be removed immediately,” it said in a post that also featured screen-grabs of the books for sale on the platform and tagged Bezos’s Twitter account.

Among them is an anti-Semitic children’s book titled “The Poisonous Mushroom” authored by Nazi party member Julius Streicher and originally published in 1938.

The book is offered on Amazon for sale in its original German under the title Der Giftpilz, as well as in English, French and Spanish.

The UK’s Holocaust Education Trust also called out Amazon for selling the Nazi books, writing on Twitter that “Nazi propaganda has no place on the electronic bookshelves of our country. We call on @AmazonUK to remove the Nazi propaganda it has on sale.”

Amazon acknowledged the organization’s concerns, but did not commit to removing the books.

“We believe that providing access to written speech is important, including books that some may find objectionable, though we take concerns from the Holocaust Educational Trust seriously and are listening to its feedback,” the company said in a statement to the New York Times.

Last year, Lithuania called on Amazon to stop selling Soviet-themed goods online, saying the hammer and sickle symbol offended victims of totalitarian communism.

Over the last 18 months 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.

Amazon also banned other books that were anti-Semitic in nature, the NYT reported earlier this month.

Holocaust survivors returned last month to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp to mark 75 years since its liberation and to sound the alarm over a surge in anti-Semitic attacks on both sides of the Atlantic, some of them deadly.

Operated by Nazi Germany from 1940 until 1945 in then occupied Poland, Auschwitz was part of a vast and brutal network of camps across Europe set up as part of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler’s “Final Solution” of genocide against an estimated 10 million European Jews, killing some six million.

Nazi Germany killed more than 1.1 million people at Auschwitz, the vast majority of them Jewish.

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