When residents of the quiet Norfolk village of East Winch go along to their local book-swap phone box, they like to see what new books have been added, looking for a nice surprise.
But the latest additions, dropped in by an unknown resident, were more surprising than most, comprising more than 20 fascist, antisemitic and Nazi propaganda titles, including Hitler’s Mein Kampf, The Origin of the Aryans by Isaac Taylor, and the infamous antisemitic forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
East Winch villagers, among them TV presenter Stephen Fry, turned its disused phone box into a book-swapping booth several years ago, and more often than not find it comprising the latest thriller or old classics.
“What I saw made my jaw almost hit the floor,” said one resident, who preferred to remain anonymous. “Instead of Catherine Cookson and PD James, the shelves were chock-a-block with Nazi literature. I had to take a good look just because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”
The puzzled local said the collection contained books on white supremacism, race and IQ, and Holocaust denial, adding: “Is my village a Nazi location, unbeknownst to me? Or do we have an evangelical racist here? I’m not sure I want to find out.”
Parish councillor David Bright said he “thought it was a joke” at first, adding that the books were “not very nice things to have in there”.
Holocaust Educational Trust chief executive Karen Pollock MBE said it was “incredibly worrying,” adding: “They belong in the bin of history.”
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