UPDATED: Barnes & Noble Takes Action on Offensive Books

DECEMBER 11 UPDATE:

In response to the concerns discussed here, Barnes & Noble removed the offensive books and stated its commitment to bar "illegal, libelous, infringing, offensive, harmful or potentially harmful, threatening, harassing, legally obscene, defamatory, intolerant, or intentionally hateful" material from being sold on its site. 

In the wake of a CAMERA exposé and communication with CAMERA staff and members, the Target Corporation commendably took swift action to remove two dozen Holocaust-denial and anti-Semitic conspiracy books being sold on the company website. An appeal to Barnes & Noble – which calls itself “The Internet's Largest Bookstore” – to either remove or appropriately label anti-Jewish Nazi propaganda, however, met with an entirely different response, as B&N chose to continue to profit off the sale of racist hate rhetoric.  The book in question (which happens to be only one of other racist books sold through Barnes & Noble) is authored by a notorious Italian anti-Semite, Gian Pio Mattogno (brother of Holocaust denier Carlos Mattogno).  Marketed in Italian by B&N under the title “Moralita' Giudaiche" ("Jewish Morality”), it  is self-published on Lulu.com and appears to have come directly from Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher’s archives.

The book’s cover is an anti-Semitic caricature taken directly from the children's book, Der Giftpilz (The Poisonous Mushroom) by Ernst Hiemer, that was published in 1938 by Streicher’s Der Sturmer.  The rest of the book is based on the anti-Semitic, Nazi tropes about the Talmud and the moral depravity of Jews that was promoted in the children's book and in other Nazi literature of the time.

But rather than labelling the book as what it is – i.e. Nazi-era incitement against Jews – it is marketed on  B&N’s website as the truth about Jews.  Its promotional overview states:

“A careful and documented work of exegesis of the hidden profiles of the Jewish Talmud. This study is the fruit of patient research by the nonconformist historian Gian Pio Mattogno. In these pages, the reader will learn of the disturbing profiles of the ethics of Talmudist "pious Jews" who justify and admit foul practices outlawed by all mankind, such as pedophilia, necrophilia, and zoophilia. Abysses of moral depravity that the rabbinical schools have sought for centuries to conceal from the horrified eyes of mankind. A text extensively documented on primary and misunderstood sources from the Jewish Talmud. Disturbing.” (Translation by CAMERA)

In response to concerns that were raised by CAMERA about the marketing of dangerous, anti-Jewish falsehoods that led to the genocide of Jews, B&N’s customer service responded with boiler-plate platitudes about “diversity of opinion” and “freedom of choice” (copied and pasted below):


Subject: FLAGGED: Nazi Propaganda Being Marketed by B&N
Response By Email (Bernadeth) (12/09/2021 04:37 AM)

Hi Ricki,

Thanks for your feedback about some books listed on our website.

At Barnes & Noble, we take our mission very seriously -- to be a valuable resource to our customers, bringing books and ideas to the public. We live in a diverse culture, and that diversity is reflected in the wide range of interests, philosophies, and lifestyles of our customers. The guiding principle we use is to offer every book in print and allow our customers to decide what to buy and read. After all, freedom of choice is at the very heart of our democratic society.

Understandably, some people may strongly oppose the content of a particular title and choose not to purchase it; we respect their opinions. In return, we ask that our customers respect our responsibility to offer a selection of reading materials as diverse as the society in which we live – the very society that grants the freedom for these materials to exist.

Respectfully,

Bernadeth
Customer Service Representative

Demonizing “the Jews” as morally depraved necrophiles, pedophiles and zoophiles should be beyond the pale—even if, or especially if, it’s done in the name of diversity and freedom.

As the generation of  survivors and first-hand witnesses to the Holocaust pass on, the void is being filled by neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers.  Books promoting their dangerous, racist lies abound on online book vendor sites, labelled only with their own promotional materials that market it as truth. 

While these sort of books do not necessarily have to be banned, they should at the very least be labelled and contextualized as the Nazi incitement that led to the genocide and brutalization of millions of Jews in the 20th century.