What antisemitic books are available at the Frankfurt Book Fair?

While most of the Arab stands had far fewer books on display than usual, claiming logistical shortfalls, hateful material was still present in the stalls of Syria, Libya and Egypt.

 Visitors are seen at the world's largest book fair in Frankfurt, Germany (photo credit: REUTERS)
Visitors are seen at the world's largest book fair in Frankfurt, Germany
(photo credit: REUTERS)

The Frankfurt Book Fair (FBM - Frankfurter Buchmesse) has drastically changed over the past years with its 2022 edition not only affected by the post-COVID-19 environment but also concerned with the geopolitical impact of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and Iran's actions against protestors.

Frankfurter Buchmesse is a forum where exhibitors and literary fans, bestselling authors and artists, international professionals and celebrities from the fields of culture, media and politics from over 100 countries can meet each other and present works from their respective countries.

The fair has been organized by Frankfurter Buchmesse GmbH since 1949 when 205 German exhibitors met in the Paulskirche in Frankfurt for the first post-war book fair.

The Wiesenthal Center's Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, explained that the center has annually monitored antisemitic books on the shelves of various book Fairs, including Frankfurter Buchmesse.

"This year, a series of conditions at the Frankfurt Book Fair has kept antisemitism and hate diminished, compared to what we had witnessed over the past decades. Namely the absence of Iran's official stand and Syria's reduced presence. Other Arab stands are now in line with the Book Fair's code of conduct and the Abraham Accords. The Egyptian stands held mixed publishers, including some who have antisemitic texts," The Wiesenthal Center said.

At the opening press conference of the Frankfurt Book Fair, Director and CEO, Juergen Boos, noted the reduced number of stands compared to the pre-COVID years, as many smaller publishers were struggling in the aftermath of COVID-19 regulations in the last few years, and many ended up joining in collective stands.

Compared to previous fairs, most of the Arab stands had far fewer books on display than usual, claiming logistical shortfalls in times of crisis, but hateful material was still present in the stalls of Syria, Libya and Egypt. The stalls of both Russia and Iran were absent from the fair.

What antisemitic books were found at the fair?

Publisher Dar Ghar Hira on the Syrian Collective Stand had several infamous antisemitic books by Abdul Majeed Hamo, in particular:

The Canaanites and the Distorted Torah

“The Canaanite impact on the Jewish religion, as the Jews took from them 'El'., the Divine Assembly, the worship of Baal and even the language they called '‘the lip of Canaan'. We were Canaan, but they [the Jews] stole everything from our civilization, falsified and deformed it, calling it their own.”

Is Judaism a Heavenly Religion?

“People have been occupied with this religion [Judaism] since ancient times and considered it heavenly as the religion of Moses, 'Musa' Peace be upon Him. But there were two scripts, the Mosaic and the Jewish. The current book of the Torah is a pagan text that calls for the worship of ‘many gods’: El, Baal, Astarte, Anah, Aden, Tambul, Jehovah...”

Babylon and the distortion of the Torah

"The Jews distorted the teachings of God to satisfy their sins."

Among the other books and authors published by Syrian Dar Ghar Hira, worthy of note are:

The Day of Wrath by Safar bin Abdul-Rahman al-Hawali

This is a treatise on the Second Intifada, arguing that "the Biblical prophecies used by Christian fundamentalists to support the state of Israel actually predict its destruction."

The Message in Sabbatai Zevi and Abdullah ibn Saba, by Ahmed Mahmoud Al-Shorbaji

"This book unveils the Jewish conspiracies against the Muslim world."

Egyptian publishers displayed a handful of antisemitic books

The Antichrist by Ahmed Khaled Mustafa

“A fictional novel... that combines fantasy and reality... With the advent of Islamic civilization, the novel explains how Islam fought witchcraft and sorcery and the Jews... The emergence of conspiracy and the Crusades... and the role of the Jews in controlling peoples and governments since time immemorial and its relationship with magic and demons and trying to control the world using this malicious science. The great role the Jews played in the formation of the new secular Europe in the last ten centuries... technological inventions, the emergence of radio waves... the harnessing and use of media for the emergence of the Antichrist... radio stations broadcasting messages - 'the time has come!' - and so on encrypted... These radio stations were at the mercy of the Jews.”

Egyptian publisher Aseer Al-Kotob also has a fresh edition of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf.

The German-based Ketabak Bookstore stand had a collection of publishers from different Arab countries, among which Bibliomania Publishings (based in Cairo, Egypt), that lists Jewish Capitalist Families and their Role in World Politics (Rothschild - Rockefeller), by Mohamed Ashour, Rania Mustafa Al-Ashry and Medhat Mohamed Abdel-Harith

The book claims Jewish influence in banking, media, pornography, etc... In its online presentation (in Arabic) it states:

"The Jews were and still are the owners of evil, ruin and destruction in this world. To them is attributed all evil on this earth; They are the killers of the prophets, and they are the enemies of civilization. They are the ones who killed and displaced thousands of innocents, and they are the ones who traded in the health of millions, had Thousands of honors, violated the sanctities of millions, plundered and stole the resources of peoples, and falsified history. They manipulated the minds of billions of people and did all of this only for their interest and material gains that they made."