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October 26, 2021 1:00 pm
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Target, Barnes & Noble Halt Sale of Several Holocaust Denial Books After Protest From Jewish Group

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

A Barnes & Noble bookstore in North Haven, CT. Photo: Mike Mozart from Funny YouTube, USA / Wikimedia Commons

The American retailer Target Corporation and the bookstore Barnes and Noble have said they are no longer selling four books that promote Holocaust denial following condemnation from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Jewish group announced on Tuesday.

The books that have been removed include “Not Guilty At Nuremberg,” a book written by notorious Holocaust denier Carlos Porter; and the German-language novel “Der Auschwitz-Mythos–Legende oder Wirklichkeit” (“The Auschwitz Myth–Legend or Reality”) by Wilhelm Stäglich, a former officer in the German army during World War II and a neo-Nazi party member.

Two other German-language books no longer sold by both retailers are Germar Rudolf’s “Eine Zensur Findet Statt!” (“A Censorship is Taking Place!”), written in protest of German authorities who banned his antisemitism and Holocaust denial, and “Was Ist Wahrheit? (“What is Truth?”) by the French communist Paul Rassinier, one of the earliest Holocaust deniers.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, SWC’s associate dean and global social action director, sent letters on Oct. 15 to Target and Barnes & Noble, chastising the companies for selling the books. SWC has also contacted other large online booksellers, including Walmart, over the sale of Porter’s book.

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“We assume these large online booksellers do not mass market books promoting terrorism or pedophilia,” Cooper wrote in part. “At a time of surging antisemitic hate crimes here in the US, it is beyond the pale that a book would be marketed by someone who insults the memory of 6 million Jewish victims of the Nazi genocide.”

On Oct. 18, Target replied that it has stopped selling the books and “it’s never our intention to offend our guests with the merchandise we carry.”

Three days later, Barnes & Noble also responded, saying, “As soon as we are made aware of any such offending titles, we take prompt action to remove offending titles in accordance with our policy, as we did with ‘Not Guilty at Nuremberg.’  We had not been aware of this title’s existence on barnesandnoble.com. Upon receipt of your correspondence, in accordance with our content policy, we immediately removed it from our website. We also alerted [the printer and distributor] Lightning Source, who have assured us that they also have deleted this title from their books for sale.”

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