Amazon pulls Nazi-era book from website following outcry

The World Jewish Congress expressed outrage over the sale of Nazi-era book The Poisionous Mushroom on Amazon, in addition to other hateful material that is being sold on their website.

Amazon.com's logo is seen at Amazon Japan's office building in Tokyo, Japan, August 8, 2016. (photo credit: KIM KYUNG-HOON/FILE PHOTO/ REUTERS)
Amazon.com's logo is seen at Amazon Japan's office building in Tokyo, Japan, August 8, 2016.
(photo credit: KIM KYUNG-HOON/FILE PHOTO/ REUTERS)
Amazon pulled antisemitic Nazi-era books off of their website following outcry, Newsweek reported.
The World Jewish Congress expressed outrage over the sale of Nazi-era book on Amazon, in addition to hateful material that is currently being sold on their website, including an antisemitic children’s book depicting Jews in devilish form, written by Julius Streicher from the infamous Der Stürmer magazine, called The Poisonous Mushroom.
 Head of the World Jewish Congress, Ronald S. Lauder, called for its removal from the popular e-commerce website, in addition to imploring Amazon head Jeff Bezos to take action himself on removing the book and other racist and xenophobic content from his website.
“It is bewildering and frightening that in this digital age, in which we are more than well-aware of the dangers that can arise from the dissemination of hateful material online, Amazon would continue to allow the sale of an unquestionable piece of Nazi propaganda that brands Jews as no less than ‘poisonous mushrooms,’” Lauder said.
“This book was written by one of the most despicable and loathsome exponents of Nazi antisemitic venom and was even used as evidence leading to his execution at the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. Streicher propagated an image of Jews as subhuman violent sexual abusers and enslavers, using his publications as a mouthpiece for blood libels and smear campaigns that shaped Nazi Germany and incited the near destruction of European Jewry. Streicher and his propaganda were so odious and vulgar that he was often shunned by other members of the Nazi Party, including defendants in Nuremberg when facing trial for crimes against humanity. How is it possible that Amazon has allowed such poisonous material to pass through its initial filters, posted online and accessible to anybody with a credit card, no matter their age or intention, at $0.99.
“While we appreciate the efforts that Amazon has made in the past to remove such offensive content, it is inconceivable that we should have to revisit this issue time and again, in order to ensure the safety and security of our communities from those who might well be inspired through these purchases to attack Jews and other minorities in the spirit of Nazi virulence,” Lauder added. “It cannot be left up to individuals or human rights organizations to repeatedly flag such content on Amazon’s behalf. A more sustainable mechanism must be put in place to keep these items from being posted at all.
“Three weeks ago, I stood on the grounds of Auschwitz-Birkenau with 200 survivors of the death camp who had returned on the 75th anniversary of its liberation to face the horrors that had stolen their youth, their innocence, and their families as a direct result of the hatred spewed in books like these. For the sake of all victims of the Holocaust, and out of simple moral corporate responsibility, it is imperative that Amazon fully joins us in our fight against antisemitism, rather than let it percolate on its platforms.”
""This book is obscene," said Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, in a statement.
"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."
Though they were reluctant to do so initially, Amazon confirmed that they removed the book from the website.
"Amazon has policies governing which books can be listed for sale; we invest significant time and resources to ensure our guidelines are followed, and remove products that do not adhere to these guidelines," an Amazon spokesperson told Newsweek.