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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Polish museum slams Amazon for anti-semitic books and ‘Hunters’ TV show

24.02.2020 13:15
Poland’s Auschwitz Memorial has criticised Amazon for selling books promoting anti-Semitism and “fake” depictions of the Holocaust in a new TV series.
27 January 2020, Poland, Oswiecim: The gate with the lettering Arbeit macht frei on the edge of the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the former German concentration camp Auschwitz.
27 January 2020, Poland, Oswiecim: The gate with the lettering "Arbeit macht frei" on the edge of the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the former German concentration camp Auschwitz.DPA/Britta Pedersen

The Auschwitz Memorial, the museum that manages the site of the former Nazi German death camp, called on the e-commerce giant to withdraw anti-Semitic books by Julius Streicher, a propagandist and member of the Nazi party who was convicted for crimes against humanity and executed after World War II.

"When you decide to make a profit on selling vicious antisemitic Nazi propaganda published without any critical comment or context, you need to remember that those words led not only to the Holocaust but also many other hate crimes motivated by antisemitism," the museum tweeted on Sunday.

British daily The Guardian cited a statement from Amazon as saying: “As a bookseller, we are mindful of book censorship throughout history, and we do not take this lightly. We believe that providing access to written speech is important, including books that some may find objectionable.”

Meanwhile, the Auschwitz Memorial also voiced criticism of Amazon’s new TV series Hunters, starring Al Pacino. It contains what the museum says are “fake” and “dangerous” depictions of the German death camp.

“Inventing a fake game of human chess … is not only dangerous foolishness & caricature. It also welcomes future deniers,” the Auschwitz Memorial tweeted.

It added: “We honor the victims by preserving factual accuracy.”

The Guardian reported that the TV series has been accused of bad taste, particularly for a scene of a game of "human chess", in which people are killed when a piece is taken.

The scene “felt like exploitation – maybe fetishisation – and part of a cloud of doubt that settles over the whole,” the daily said in a review of the TV show.

The criticism of Amazon comes a month after world leaders gathered in Poland to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, where more than 1.1 million people, mostly European Jews, perished.

In December, Amazon pulled a range of Christmas ornaments displaying images of the Auschwitz death camp after a complaint from the Auschwitz Memorial.

(jh/pk)

Source: PAP/The Guardian