Online retail giant Amazon has stopped selling most editions of Hitler’s Mein Kampf and other titles deemed Nazi propaganda in a move heralded by Holocaust educators around the world.
Sellers were notified of the e-commerce company’s decision this week following years of campaigning from Jewish groups. The retailer has always defended the sale of offensive Nazi-era material citing free speech principles and historical insight.
Some foreign-language academic editions of Mein Kampf can still be bought via Amazon’s UK bookstore, including an expensive and heavily-annotated German language edition approved for use by scholars.
Written eight years before he assumed power, Mein Kampf is part autobiography part blueprint for what later became Nazi Germany’s military strategy as well as Hitler’s plan to exterminate Jews and those he considered undesirable.
It shows how he felt Germany had been “betrayed,” how he sought vengeance against France and the need for lebensraum (living space) for Germans. It also shows how he glorified the “Aryan” race and spoke of exterminating “international poisoners,” a thinly-veiled reference to Jews.
The Anti-Defamation League has said the book “lays it all out: his megalomania, his conspiratorial obsession with Jews and his lust for power”.
Amazon has also banned the sale of Nazi children’s books designed to spread antisemitic ideas among the very young. One such book is ‘The Poisonous Mushroom’ written by Nazi publisher Julius Streicher, who was later executed for crimes against humanity after running the Nazi Der Stürmer newspaper.
Until recently Streicher’s The Mongrel, an illustrated guide to “the Jewish question,” could be bought for less than £8.
Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, “welcomed” the decision to remove Mein Kampf and The Poisonous Mushroom from sale, but said Amazon had not gone far enough, tweeting: “Surely @AmazonUK should also remove books by Himmler, Goebbels and Rosenberg too?”