Auschwitz Museum calls on Amazon to remove Nazi propaganda books

The Auschwitz Museum in Oświęcim, southern Poland, has called on Amazon to withdraw Nazi propaganda books from its webpage.

“The @AuschwitzMuseum and @HolocaustUK calls out @amazon, @AmazonUK, @amazonDE & @JeffBezos for selling virulent antisemitic Nazi propaganda… @AmazonUK | Please remove hateful & antisemitic Nazi propaganda books from your page,” the museum tweeted on Friday.

“When you decide to make a profit on selling vicious antisemitic Nazi propaganda published without any critical comment or context, you need to remember that those words led not only to the #Holocaust but also many other hate crimes motivated by #antisemitism,” the museum tweeted again on Sunday. On its mission to fight antisemitism, Auschwitz Museum followed the protest by the UK Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) that called on Amazon to remove Nazi propaganda books it had on sale, namely copies of Julius Streicher's “Der Giftpilz”, aka “The Poisonous Mushroom”. Originally published in 1938, “The Poisonous Mushroom” colouring book’s objective was to make children believe that Jewish people "abuse little boys and girls." The book was used as evidence during Streicher's Nuremberg Trial, after which he was executed.

"This book brands the Jew as a persecutor of the labour class, as a race defiler, devil in human form, a poisonous mushroom, and a murderer… This particular book instructed school children to recognize the Jew by caricature of his physical features... and that the Jewish Bible permits all crimes," according to a record of the trial cited by Newsweek.

Among other antisemitic books available online at Amazon were Julius Streicher’s “The Mongrel” and “Political Testament”, the latter written at the end of WWII, and “Blood and Honor” by Alfred Rosenberg.

All of the books mentioned in this article were still available on Amazon on the day of this article’s publication, namely February 23, 2020.

Nazi ideologues

A member of the Nazi Party, Streicher founded the anti-Semitic newspaper Der Stürmer, which was used to promote the group's propaganda. His publishing firm that disseminated the virulent antisemitic content was financially very successful and made Streicher a multi-millionaire. At the end of the war, Streicher was convicted of crimes against humanity in the Nuremberg trials and was executed.

The head of the Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories and war criminal during the Nazi era, Alfred Ernst Rosenberg was a theorist and an influential ideologue of the Nazi Party who authored a seminal work of Nazi ideology, “The Myth of the Twentieth Century”.

Rosenberg is considered one of the main authors of key Nazi ideological creeds, including its racial theory, persecution of the Jews, Lebensraum, abrogation of the Treaty of Versailles, and opposition to what was considered "degenerate" modern art. The man was also notorious for his rejection of and hatred for Christianity. At Nuremberg, he was sentenced to death and executed by hanging for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Not the first intervention

This was not the first time that Auschwitz Museum intervened calling on Amazon to remove an antisemitic product. In late 2019, the museum requested the removal of Christmas decorations, a bottle opener and a mousepad illustrated with the former Nazi-German concentration camp of Auschwitz.