Dutch online retail giant Bol.com is refusing to remove a Nazi children’s book from its virtual shelves, citing the need to uphold the principle of freedom of speech.
The book, Der Giftpilz (the poisonous mushroom), dates from 1938 and was written by Nazi stalwart Julius Streicher. It was used as evidence against him during the Neurenberg trials, at which he was sentenced to death for crimes against humanity.
Jewish and other groups have been calling on Bol.com to remove the book from sale following campaign against Amazon last week by the Auschwitz Museum in Poland.
‘When you decide to make a profit on selling vicious anti-semitic 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 told Amazon, which has since banned the book.
Campaigners have now turned their attention to Bol.com which also sells the book, albeit with a disclaimer.
.@bol_com Wij verzoeken u vriendelijk om wrede antisemitische nazi-propagandapublicaties uit uw winkel te verwijderen. Maak geen winst met woorden die in het verleden de weg naar de Holocaust hebben gebaand. pic.twitter.com/jLOFZKciAv
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) February 25, 2020
‘As Bol.com we do not back all the books we sell, in particular those which are damaging or which can shock people,’ the retailer, part of the Ahold empire, says in the disclaimer.
‘However, we regard it as a bigger danger if we were to decide which information is accessible to Dutch and Belgians, which would undermine freedom of speech and democracy.’
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation