Amazon’s Still Selling Lots of Nazi Books

Amazon will bring almost anything to your door in a day. Despite numerous exposés, that still includes Nazi books running the gauntlet from “classic” tomes of Hitler-era Germany to standard post-war white supremacist texts up through alt-right writers.The global giant has taken some steps after years of criticism . You can no longer buy William…

Powered by NewsAPI , in Liberal Perspective on .

news image

Amazon will bring almost anything to your door in a day. Despite numerous exposés, that still includes Nazi books running the gauntlet from “classic” tomes of Hitler-era Germany to standard post-war white supremacist texts up through alt-right writers.

The global giant has taken some steps after years of criticism . You can no longer buy William Pierce’s bloody race war fantasy The Turner Diaries, which inspired the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168, or James Mason’s Siege. Famous racists like David Duke and the classics of Holocaust denial are gone, too.

But what remains available, in print and on Kindle, is overwhelming to sort through. Some of the books are for sale by Amazon, while others come from third-party sellers—including dedicated providers of white supremacist materials along with used booksellers.

Many classics of Nazi Germany are available, not from scholarly presses with appropriate framing but from racist publishers. Neo-Nazis can enjoy A New Nobility of Blood and Soil by Walther Darré, the Nazi regime’s agriculture minister, or the works of the Nazi economist Gottfried Feder. Those who prefer what’s described as “one of the most highly prized books of the Aryan home” can order The Yearly Celebrations and Life in the SS Family. It has a five-star rating and free shipping with Prime.

After the war, Savitri Devi toured the remains of bombed-out Germany, promoting the worship of Hitler as a divine being. Amazon’s preview of her Lightning and the Sun includes the book’s dedication to Hitler—“a tribute of unfailing love and loyalty.”

Also available are Eustace Mullins’s antisemitic rants about who supposedly controls the Federal Reserve, and a celebration of “Unbroken Warrior” Richard Scutari, an imprisoned member of the neo-Nazi terrorist group The Order that assassinated a Jewish radio show host in 1984. For musical accompaniment, third-party seller Safe-and-Sound offers numerous albums by the neo-Nazi skinhead band Skrewdriver.

Meanwhile, sophisticated fascists will enjoy the many books by the French New Right, a major influence on America’s alt right. Guillaume Faye’s author page features not only his books but also direct links to the website of Arktos, his publisher, which the SPLC describes as “one of the foremost publishers of identitarian literature.” This isn’t an isolated example; other author pages link to Arktos and similar sites like American Renaissance.

The French New Right influenced Richard Spencer in particular, and Amazon continues to sell at least one of his books, The Uprooting of European Identity.

Authors named in past exposés remain on the platform. While some of white nationalist Greg Johnson’s books were removed after ProPublica reported on the “unprecedented access to a mass audience” Amazon has provided white supremacists, his White Identity Politics is still available.

Antifascist researcher Shane Burley describes the book as Johnson’s attempt to synthesize “his key white nationalist ideas into an easily digestible, yet incredibly sanitized, form.” The description to another Johnson book cuts to the chase about how it “offers a basic introduction to White Nationalism.”

While the books of Billy Roper, who the SPLC calls “the uncensored voice of violent neo-Nazism,” were removed after the ProPublica story was published, his author page remains up and helpfully includes his email address. Another book ProPublica mentioned, Anschluss—which praises Islamophobe Anders Behring Breivik’s 2011 mass murder of 77 people—is still for sale.

Openly fascist publishing houses use Amazon to sell as much of their list as they can, which can be a substantial part. Some Arktos titles are banned, but numerous others remain. The 55 Club sells mystical fascist books, including the aforementioned SS family guide. The website Angry White Men profiled the numerous books on Amazon from Antelope Hill Publishing, which glorifies “Nazi Germany, fascism, antisemitism, and white nationalism.” And despite Amazon’s controversial removal of swastikas from the coffee table book The Man in the High Castle: Creating the Alt-World, five books with swastikas are for sale by the openly fascist Sanctuary Press.

After the third quarter of 2021, Amazon’s annual sales were $332 billion, so they certainly don’t need money from small racist booksellers.

Successfully or not, Facebook and Twitter are throwing resources at reining in hateful content—but Amazon has taken a more passive approach. Their Kindle Direct Publishing service doesn’t bar rank bigotry or advocating violence. Amazon’s “Content Guidelines for Books” excludes “content that we determine is hate speech”—but doesn’t define it.

Asked about that definition, an Amazon spokesperson replied that they “have policies that outline what products may be sold in our stores. We invest significant time and resources to ensure our content guidelines are followed, and remove products that do not adhere to our guidelines.” In 2018 third-party sellers told The New York Times they wanted clarity on the definition and a list of banned books; some said Amazon “had no policies they could discern and often seemed to be simply reacting to bad publicity.”

That still appears to be the case. A racist murder fantasy trilogy by white supremacist Michael Swinyard was sold through Amazon until December, just after he murdered five people—including several he’d named in his books. Only then was it pulled.

Read More