Amazon Removes Books Written by Influential Nazi From Sale Following Outcry

Amazon has confirmed it has removed copies of anti-Semitic books written by a Nazi executed for crimes against humanity after days of outcry.

The Auschwitz Memorial and the British-based Holocaust Educational Trust were among those who criticized the online retailer after it was found to be selling copies of Julius Streicher's The Poisonous Mushroom, as well as other books from the Nazi Party member.

The children's book, originally titled Der Giftpilz, contains a number of anti-Semitic tropes and was even used as evidence against Streicher during the Nuremberg trials, after which he was executed in 1946.

Streicher founded the anti-Semitic newspaper Der Stürmer, which was used to promote the group's propaganda.

"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," a record of the trial states. "This particular book instructed school children to recognize the Jew by caricature of his physical features... and that the Jewish Bible permits all crimes."

The book also tries to teach children Jewish people "abuse little boys and girls."

"This book is obscene," Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said in a statement.

"It is worrying that distinguished publishers like Amazon would make available products that promote racist or hate speech of any kind, let alone those from the darkest period of European history."

The Auschwitz Memorial, a museum at the site of the former concentration camp, also noted on Twitter that other copies of Streicher's "hateful, virulently antisemitic Nazi propaganda," such as The Mongrel and The Jewish Question in the Classroom, could also be found on Amazon.

Originally, Amazon was reluctant to remove the books despite the criticism. "As a bookseller, we believe that providing access to the written word is important, including books that some may find objectionable. We take concerns seriously and are listening to feedback," Amazon said in a February 21 statement.

The Jeff Bezos-owned company has now confirmed that Streicher's infamous books have been removed from sale on their site.

"Amazon has policies governing which books can be listed for sale; we invest significant time and resources to ensure our guidelines are followed, and remove products that do not adhere to these guidelines," a spokesperson told Newsweek.

Elsewhere, the Auschwitz Memorial also condemned Amazon's new TV show for fictionalizing horrors which occurred in Nazi concentration camps in World War II.

In the opening episode of the Al Pacino-starring drama Hunters, a flashback is shown in which guards are seen playing a game of human chess with prisoners at Auschwitz, forcing the inmates to kill each other

"Auschwitz was full of horrible pain & suffering documented in the accounts of survivors. Inventing a fake game of human chess for @huntersonprime is not only dangerous foolishness & caricature. It also welcomes future deniers. We honor the victims by preserving factual accuracy," the Memorial tweeted.

In its defense, Hunters creator David Weil said that while the series is a "dramatic narrative series, with largely fictional characters, it is inspired by true events.

"But it is not documentary. And it was never purported to be," Weil added.

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Close-up of sign with logo on facade of the regional headquarters of ecommerce company Amazon in the Silicon Valley town of Sunnyvale, California, October 28, 2018. Amazon has confirmed that several titles written by a convicted Nazi criminal are no longer available on their site. Smith Collection/Gado/Getty
Amazon Removes Books Written by Influential Nazi From Sale Following Outcry | U.S.