|Thursday November 18 4:01 PM
Stops Selling Mein Kampf to
(Reuters) - Online
retail pioneer Amazon.com Inc. said on
Thursday it will stop selling Adolf
Hitler's prison-penned manifesto "Mein
Kampf" in Germany, citing German laws
prohibiting sales of hate literature.
"We're not shipping it into Germany.
It's still available at our Web
site and can be shipped elsewhere,"
Amazon spokesman Bill Curry
The book's English version was among
Amazon's most popular titles in Germany,
prompting the Nazi-hunting Simon
Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles
to file legal complaints against Amazon
and other Web-based book sellers in
"It's clear that the German-language
version is banned in Germany. It's less
clear about the English version and we
thought that given that uncertainty the
prudent thing was to stop shipping it into
Germany," Curry added.
The Wiesenthal Center's Associate Dean,
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, who had
recently spoken with Amazon Chief
Executive Jeff Bezos, issued a
statement praising the decision.
"This is a significant victory for the
ongoing efforts of German authorities to
continue their struggle against any
resurgence of Nazism," Cooper said.
Inc. will continue -- at least for the
time being -- to ship the book, which
Hitler wrote in prison several years
before he led the Nazi party to power
in 1933 and which contains repeated
"Our position has not changed. Our
attorneys are reviewing the German law.
Until they are finished with that process,
we won't make a decision," said Mary
Ellen Keating, spokeswoman for Barnes
& Noble Inc., which owns 40 percent of
the Web site.
In August German media giant
Bertelsmann AG, which also owns 40 percent
of Barnesandnoble.com, recommended the Web
site stop selling hate literature in
Germany and pulled Mein Kampf
from its own online
Amazon.com does not disclose data on
individual book sales or provide
country-by-country figures. But in
September the Web site listed Mein Kampf
as No.2 on its "uniquely best selling"
list in Germany, suggesting the book is
much more popular in Germany than among
other Amazon customers.
Amazon sold $610 million worth of books
in 1998 to buyers in 160 countries.
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