Global online retail giant Amazon was condemned in Germany on Saturday for allowing the sale of antisemitic books and pro-Nazi merchandise.
The Central Council of Jews denounced the company for carrying the stock, saying it is “absolutely unacceptable that T-shirts and stickers be sold via Amazon that glorify the Nazis or incite hatred against minorities.”
Council president Josef Schuster made the accusation in an interview with media group RND, adding Amazon has “a great moral and social responsibility,” and cannot portray itself as a simple “supplier”, he added.
“What we expect from a company such as Amazon, and from competent authorities, is that they immediately withdraw these articles from circulation and systematically launch legal proceedings,” Schuster said.
He highlighted books such as The Jew as World Parasite which was listed on Amazon in Germany early Saturday for 20 euros ($22.50).
This is not the first time Amazon in Germany has been accused of carrying antisemitic products.
In 2017 a prominent U.S.-based Jewish human rights group slammed the company’s promotion of a book entitled The Rothschilds: A Family that Controls the World as an “outrage.”
The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s France-based director for international relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, said in a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos that promoting the “antisemitic” book was a violation of Amazon’s own regulations. He wrote:
This blood libel could have been drawn from the ravings of Hitler to the genocidal charter of Hamas.
Samuels told Bezos, “For the last 12 years, we have monitored the Frankfurt Book Fair and their Arab counterparts, identifying books such as ‘The Rothschilds’ on the display stands. In most cases, the Frankfurt authorities will confiscate those we expose on grounds of violating the contract (and in many cases German law) between the publisher and the Fair — that contract explicitly prohibits fomenting hate and violence.”
Samuels went on to urge Bezos “to follow that principle, whether through Amazon.com, Amazon.de or any part of your constellation. Amazon must not serve as a fig leaf for conspiracy theories or defamatory incitement that endangers us all.”
Israel’s Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem has also previously called on Amazon to stop selling Holocaust denial books, charging the retail giant with promoting antisemitism and hate speech.
Gideon Falter, chairman of the British charity Campaign Against Antisemitism, told the Independent, “Every day, Amazon promotes a selection of literature advocating Holocaust denial and Jew hatred. Anybody searching Amazon for books about the Holocaust, including children working on school projects, will inevitably be shown Amazon’s squalid cesspool of neo-Nazi titles.”
“Amazon’s conditions prohibit the sale of ‘offensive material,’ but these titles are ‘dispatched and sold by Amazon.’ Amazon is profiting from the trade in titles promoting Holocaust denial and antisemitic conspiracy myths,” he added.