After the recent revelation of the sale of original Nazi propaganda films on Amazon, prominent voices slammed the e-commerce giant, accusing it of engaging in “hate-for-profit schemes” and “dangerous” monetization of antisemitism.
Following a recent publication by Americans Against Antisemitism (AAA) which slammed Amazon for hosting “horrific” Nazi propaganda films and declared its intention to implore the multinational tech company to remove the hateful content from its site, a slew of groups and individuals joined in the condemnation of the Big Tech behemoth.
Former New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D), founder of the AAA advocacy group that combats hate, posted a clip on Monday stating, “We at @AmericansAA uncovered the latest of @amazon’s hate-for-profit schemes: selling more than 30 original version Nazi propaganda films!”
“I haven’t heard back from Amazon despite their recognizing having made the same error repeatedly,” he added.
— Dov Hikind (@HikindDov) January 10, 2022
In the two-minute clip, Hikind is seen speaking before a screen displaying scenes of specific propaganda films.
“I can’t believe what I came across on Amazon,” he began, slamming the availability of Triumph of the Will — a 1935 Nazi propaganda film commissioned by Adolf Hitler which contains excerpts from speeches by Nazi leaders interspersed with footage of Nazi troops.
“Can you imagine how proud [Nazi propaganda minister Joseph] Goebbels is to think that the work that he was involved in is being celebrated by people all over the world thanks to Amazon?” he asked. “Is this insane? It makes no sense.”
Slamming “Amazon in 2022” for featuring “films that glorify the Nazis,” Hikind noted that, unlike with other such films, none of these contain any disclaimers or content advisory notices.
“All of these films — there is no explanation; there’s no commentary; there is nothing,” he said.
Noting the recent increase in antisemitism, Hikind then asks, “Why would Amazon be making money off Nazis?” and concludes by calling on the site to end the sales.
“Shame on you, and put an end to this right now,” he says.
Hikind also spoke with Breitbart News on Tuesday, blasting the “incompetent” tech company for not keeping to its own policy after previous statements made by Amazon executives declared such content unfit for their site.
“And yet, they’ve chosen to ignore our communications while turning a blind eye to the hate they’re actively helping spread,” he said.
Claiming we are at a “turning point in post-Holocaust history,” he suggested we “decide if we would be, as a collective in America, entirely fine with strolling about our neighborhoods and seeing [antisemitic Nazi propaganda films] ‘Der Ewige Jude’ or ‘Jud Suss’ featured on the local cinema’s marquee, or not.”
“If not,” he added, “then we must register a loud and unequivocal rejection of such accursed offerings at one of the world’s largest retailers, otherwise the slope only gets slipperier from here.”
Addressing arguments that such content possesses “educational value,” Hikind sought to distinguish between education and “indoctrination.”
“It’s true, all Nazi films can be instructive but no one would sit children in a classroom and have them watch two straight hours of vile racist content without any warning and disclaimer as well as sufficient context to help them understand and properly situate what they’re watching and why,” he said. “Otherwise, it’s not education but indoctrination.”
“If these Nazi films on Amazon were the sort designed for educational purposes their product descriptions would specify that aspect rather than reading like they were copied verbatim from the press releases of the Third Reich’s Ministry of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment,” he added.
On Wednesday, following the publication of AAA’s report, Amazon appeared to have removed access to Triumph of the Will from their streaming platform. In response, Hikind called it an “important victory,” while still noting, “there are a number of obviously hateful Nazi films still for sale.”
After Hikind’s clip gained considerable attention — receiving over 55,000 views as of Wednesday — others joined him and his group in condemning Amazon.
“The availability of Nazi propaganda films is deplorable and serves to propagate antisemitism,” stated Dani Dayan, head of Yad Vashem — Israel’s premiere Holocaust museum and research center.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organization that researches the Holocaust and contemporary antisemitism, also slammed the “dangerous” monetization of “Jew-hatred” today.
“Is it legal to peddle Nazi propaganda that set the stage for the genocide of 6 million innocent Jews?” the center tweeted. “Probably but shame on @Amazon @PrimeVideo for monetizing Jew-hatred at a time of surging #Antisemitism. Dangerous.”
“@JeffBezos should put a stop to it now,” it added.
Is it legal to peddle Nazi propaganda that set the stage for the genocide of 6 million innocent Jews? Probably but shame on @Amazon @PrimeVideo for monetizing Jew-hatred at a time of surging #Antisemitism. Dangerous. @JeffBezos should put a stop to it now. https://t.co/v1QAqX1oLM
— SimonWiesenthalCntr (@simonwiesenthal) January 11, 2022
Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin (NY), too, joined in the calls to end the sales of such content.
“Amazon should neither be drawing profit nor providing a platform for Nazi propaganda,” he wrote. “These products need to be immediately removed from inventory.”
“Grateful to @hikinddov & Americans Against Anti-Semitism for leading the charge to raise awareness & call for these sales to END!” he added.
In addition, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis called for every “hateful film” on the platform to be removed.
“I stand with @RepLeeZeldin, @HikindDov & @AmericansAA in calling for @amazon to remove this horrific Nazi propaganda,” she wrote.
“They have removed one film, but that’s simply not enough,” she added. “Every hateful film should be removed from its platform immediately.”
I stand with @RepLeeZeldin, @HikindDov & @AmericansAA in calling for @amazon to remove this horrific Nazi propaganda. They have removed one film, but that's simply not enough. Every hateful film should be removed from its platform immediately. https://t.co/CpWu0W3LuU
— Office of Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (@RepMalliotakis) January 12, 2022
Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.