ECAJ calls on Dymocks to cease selling certain editions of Mein Kampf

April 7, 2020 by Henry Benjamin
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National bookseller Dymocks is currently marketing various editions of Adolf Hitler’s manifesto for the Nazi Party Mein Kampf some of which have commentaries appealing to far-right factions.

In a letter sent to the owner and chairman John Forsyth, co-CEO of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry Peter Wertheim wrote that 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.”.

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”.

Wertheim wrote that there 60 separate editions of Mein Kampf on sale as at the beginning of the month.

He attached a document prepared by The Jewish Community Council of Victoria revealing that only six of the 60 editions contained commentaries written by recognised scholars and academics. Wertheim writes: “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.”

37 editions contained no documentaries or annotations so have no reference of the purpose of the manifesto.

In his letter, Wertheim wrote: “We are asking Dymocks stores likewise to cease selling all editions of Mein Kampf which do not contain detailed historical commentary and annotations by recognised scholars.”

He pointed out that editions not including commentary by academics could breach the Racial Discrimination Act.

According to the letter, Amazon and UK-based bookselling giant WH Smith have removed offending editions for sale.

At time of publishing, no answer has been received.

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