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‘Holocaust: The Greatest Lie Ever Told’ and ‘The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry,’ were withdrawn from sale this week, despite it being legal to sell them in the UK.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