The Holocaust Educational Trust has urged Amazon to stop selling an antisemitic children’s book published by an actual Nazi.
Der Giftpilz (The Poisoned Mushroom) was first published by Julius Streicher in 1938 in Germany and was one of the most widespread pieces of propaganda of the period. It warned about the supposed dangers of the Jewish people by using the metaphor of a beautiful but deadly mushroom.
Karen Pollock, the chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, was unequivocal in her criticism:
This book is obscene. 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. We have already raised our concerns about similar issues over the past decade.
As the Holocaust moves from living history to history, our survivors regularly raise the concern that Holocaust denial and antisemitism still persist.
We urge Amazon to do the right thing and remove this material from sale immediately, audit other items may be on sale, and review their policies to prevent this ever happening again.
The Trust has also written to the managing director of Amazon, Doug Gurr, asking for the works of Streicher to be removed from the site.
The most remarkable aspect of all this is that this is not an obscure figure but one of the most infamous members of the Nazi party, a man who was convicted of crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg trials and executed.
As the founder and publisher of Der Stürmer, Streicher was at the heart of the Nazi propaganda machine. It is hard to believe that a book his company released in the late 1930s could possibly be readily available at the click of a button today.