The Federation of Dutch Jews is instigating legal action against an Amsterdam shop for selling copies of Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf.
The Totalitarian Art Gallery has three copies of the book for sale. In the Netherlands, it is not illegal to own the book but it has been illegal to sell it since 1974.
Gallery owner Michiel van Eyck told the NRC he is not surprised by the legal action. The book was not displayed in the window, but is an historic item which fits in with the collection, he said.
The gallery has two original copies of the book for sale, plus a Dutch translation. The shop also sells other memorabilia from the Nazi era as well as relics of Stalin’s rule in Russia and China under Mao.
The Jewish federation wants the public prosecution department to confiscate the books and prosecute Van Eyck. ‘At a time of increasing anti-semitism it is important to act against this form of inciting hatred,’ chairman Herman Loonstein told the paper.
Van Eyck says this is nonsense. ‘It is quite bizarre that you cannot sell or buy a book written 80 years ago by a frustrated nutcase when it is freely available via the internet,’ he said.
Six years ago, the Dutch parliament voted to retain the ban on Mein Kampf by a narrow majority.