Amazon, Other Booksellers Delist Holocaust Denial Titles

Amazon has chosen an extreme response to last month's furor over it being one of many booksellers that carry Holocaust denial books:

It has removed the books in question - globally. And they're not the only ones.

From The Times of Israel:

Amazon UK has removed four books from sale which question or deny the Holocaust, following discussions with the Board of Deputies.

The titles, including ‘Holocaust: The Greatest Lie Ever Told’ and ‘The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry,’ were withdrawn from sale this week, despite it being legal to sell them in the UK.

Board of Deputies’ vice-president Marie van der Zyl said: “It is very welcome that Amazon has listened and removed the offending titles from their website. These are not works of historical integrity. They are an anti-Semitic attempt to exonerate the Nazis of their crimes and to stoke the fires of hatred.”

Amazon UK had earlier refused to pull them from sale, because there are no laws against Holocaust denial in the UK, unlike in other European countries like Germany and France.

After the apparent U-turn, Van der Zyl added: “Should any member of the public find further offending works, please get in contact with us and we will report them using the appropriate channels.”

The Times missed the bigger story. Amazon didn't just remove the titles from Amazon UK; the titles were apparently delisted from all of Amazon's sites around the globe.

While fact-checking the original article, I searched for these books on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca. I could not find the books in question, but a Google search showed that they used to be listed on both sites. The books are also absent from Amazon's sites in Australia, Spain, and elsewhere, but I cannot confirm that they were ever listed there.

Furthermore, Barnes & Noble and Kobo have taken similar steps to remove Holocaust denial titles.

When this story came up last month, I pointed out what most of the myopic coverage missed: that you can find these works from other booksellers, including BAM, B&N, and Kobo.

I double-checked today and can tell you that most of the titles I found last month are gone. The only retailer who didn't censor their catalog was Books-a-Million.

So once again Amazon is merely one of a crowd -  a detail missed by the mainstream media.

image by Gullig

 

 

About Nate Hoffelder (11211 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

14 Comments on Amazon, Other Booksellers Delist Holocaust Denial Titles

  1. Very depressing, they all caved in to the censors.

    Maybe they should have chucked John Stuart Mill’s works down the memory hole at the same time to avoid any potential embarrassment for this kind of intellectual barbarism:

    “The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.”

  2. Amazon is a private business, not a public utility – although some would have it so.

    Amazon chose not to carry this type of book. That’s not censorship.

  3. It is good nearly all retailers have censored these books. The holocaust certainly happened in WWII (I have personally seen the camps in Germany), so anyone trying to hide that fact is in the wrong.

    I just went to Amazon and I can load the customer reviews of the “Greatest Lie” book, but not the book’s listing.

  4. To Jim,

    I’m well aware of that. Just sad that Amazon and others caved into a bunch of intellectual bullies.

  5. To Frank,

    On the contrary, it’s both sad and dangerous suppressing books containing ideas that others do not like, it’s a hallmark of all totalitarian regimes.

    There is no test for being “right” whatever that’s supposed to mean, to enjoy freedom of expression. Thankfully here in the US we have a First Amendment that protects us from the intellectual barbarians.

    That John Stuart Mill quote obviously went way over your head.

    • The First Amendment only prevents the US goverment from restraining speech. Non-governmental entities can do whatever they want. How many times do you have to be told this before you finally grasp it?

      • Yes and no.

        If a company uses the courts to silence someone, that is a 1st amendment violation.

      • As I clearly stated in my comment above:

        I’m well aware of that. Just sad that Amazon and others caved into a bunch of intellectual bullies.

        How many times do I have to write that before you finally grasp it?

    • No, there is no test for being right. But there is a test for spreading lies – actual history itself.

      • And truth or falsity is decided through open argument and scholarship not by state-sponsored bullying through fines and imprisonment as per the numerous and thoroughly despicable Orwellian “Holocaust Denial” laws in European nations.

  6. So something that actually happened in history isn’t truth? I guess you also believe that man never landed on the moon?

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