A Yom Hashoah gift from Dymocks

April 22, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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National bookseller Dymocks has acted to a request from The Executive Council of Australian Jewry by removing non-academic editions of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

Dymocks decision to remove the offending editions of Mein Kampf was conveyed to the ECAJ on Yom HaShoah, the day on which the Jewish world remembers the 6,000,000 who perished in The Holocaust.

Co-CEO of the ECAJ Peter Wertheim’s letter sent to the Dymocks owner and chairman John Forsyth earlier this month pointed Mein Kampf  “is based on theories of racial superiority and hatred which have been thoroughly discredited by scientists and other scholars” and that is “the implementation of the ideology of Nazism, as stated in Mein Kampf, resulted in the deaths of 75 million people and the displacement and injury of hundreds of millions of others between 1933 and 1945.”.

Peter Wertheim

He pointed out “antisemitism was (and remains) at the core of Nazism’s racial ideology and was the pretext for the genocide by the Nazi regime of 6 million European Jews, including 1.5 million Jewish children, known as the Holocaust”.

Earlier this month J-Wire reported Wertheim wrote that there 60 separate editions of Mein Kampf on sale in Dymocks at the beginning of the month.

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria backed the claim that only six of the 60 editions contained commentaries written by recognised scholars and academics in an attached document.

According to Wertheim another seventeen editions include commentary other than from recognised scholars or are accompanied by marketing material, such as online descriptions or back cover blurbs, which raise significant concerns. Much of this commentary and marketing material explicitly glorifies the Nazi regime, seeks to sanitise and rehabilitate Nazi ideology (including by downplaying its antisemitic nature and its central role in the Holocaust), or promotes white supremacist, antisemitic or other racist ideologies. In effect, these editions lend themselves as a recruiting tool for neo-Nazi and other racist groups.”

In a short letter from Dymocks legal counsel, wrote the following to the ECAJ:

“Thank you for your letter of 6 April 2020. We have noted the contents herein.

We can now confirm that we have removed from sale all editions of Mein Kampf from Dymocks stores.”

In response to a request to clarify the situation, Wertheim learned that the five editions with academic annotations of Mein Kempf will continue to be sold

Peter Wertheim said:  “We thank and commend Dymocks for doing the right thing and removing 55 of the 60 editions of ‘Mein Kampf’ which they had previously offered for sale.  All references to these editions have also been removed from the Dymocks website.

Dymocks notified the ECAJ of the action they had taken on Monday night, coinciding with the start of Yom Hashoah. I see this as a fitting tribute to our kedoshim.

The remaining five editions contain detailed annotations, refutations and other commentaries by recognised scholars, which highlight the book’s racist falsehoods and murderous import.  We did not seek the removal of these five editions, as we believe they act as a corrective to the propagandistic use of this work by racist groups and individuals.

We have since discovered two further editions of the book listed on the Dymocks website, which bear a different title.  These are currently being investigated by Dymocks.

The copyright on Mein Kampf expired some years ago, and it is bad enough that the book is now freely available online. It will no longer, however, be given the dignity of being listed for sale by one of Australia’s best-known retailers, except for the versions which refute its poisonous ideology.

Much credit is also due to the Jewish Community Council of Victoria for the detailed research into the precise editions which were on offer by Dymocks, and to the Online Hate Prevention Institute which first raised the issue. Their efforts in combination with the ECAJ’s advocacy proved to be successful.”

Comments

One Response to “A Yom Hashoah gift from Dymocks”
  1. Bella says:

    The sudden flood of various editions of Mein Kampf is sinister and needs further investigation.

    Booksellers shoudl know better and that several co-operated is appalling.
    It is equally appalling to consider the withdrawal of one edition to be a Yom Ha Shoa ‘gift’ ….The book, if sold without warning, is toxic to every tenet of Australian / western style democratic multicultural existence.

    To call with drawal of one edition a ‘gift’ is like flooding our water supply with sewerage and then calling its return to normality a ‘gift’.

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