British-based Holocaust Educational Trust and Auschwitz Memorial on Friday called on Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to stop selling Julius Streicher’s children’s book Der Giftpilz (The Poisonous Mushroom) online.
Nazi propaganda has no place on the electronic bookshelves of our country.
— H.E.T. (@HolocaustUK) February 21, 2020
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) February 21, 2020
Streicher was the founder and editor of the Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer. He published Der Giftpilz by Ernst Hiemer, with illustrations by Philipp Rupprecht (a.k.a. Fips), in 1938.
The title is a metaphor on how, just as it is difficult to tell a poisonous mushroom from an edible mushroom, it is difficult to tell a Jew apart from a Gentile. The book warns German children about the dangers posed by Jews to them personally, and to German society as a whole.
The book was used as evidence in Streicher’s Nuremberg Trial, which resulted in his execution by hanging. The prosecution said “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. 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 Defendant Streicher’s periodical Der Stürmer […] in particular, went to such extremes as to publish the statement that Jews at the ritual celebration of their Passover slaughtered Christians.”
On Saturday, Time correspondent Mark Bridge tweeted: “Amazon is continuing to sell copies of The Poisonous Mushroom, a virulently anti-Semitic children’s book by the executed Nazi propagandist and war criminal Julius Streicher, despite an appeal by @HolocaustUK to remove it.”
According to The Times of London, “Amazon has said it will not remove from sale a notorious anti-Semitic children’s book written by an executed war criminal and sold by an American neo-Nazi, citing grounds of free speech.”
Amazon Customers who viewed this item also viewed The Mongrel by Julius Streicher. As the Amazon page describes it: “This book is also rare, even among Third Reich books, in its open call to totally destroy Jewry, and indeed world-wide, as a necessary final step in an inescapable struggle to the death between Jewry and all the non-Jewish folks of the world.”