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Sacramento rabbi wants Amazon to pull Holocaust-denial books

Sacramento rabbi wants Amazon to pull Holocaust-denial books
The Nazi concentration campAuschwitz near Oswiecim, Poland, is preserved as a museum. Nevertheless, there are authors who contest the events of the Holocaust. (Matthias Schrader / Associated Press)

A California rabbi is urging Amazon to stop selling books that promote Holocaust denial, calling the controversial literature "blatant anti-Semitism," CBS-TV Sacramento reports.

Rabbi Mendy Cohen, the co-founder of Chabad of Sacramento, says the online retailer should pull the books from its inventory. He told the station that he is the descendant of a Holocaust victim, saying, "My great-grandfather was burnt in a synagogue alive with 500 Jews that the Nazis burned."

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Cohen's plea comes days after Amazon pulled merchandise depicting the Confederate flag from its site. The flag is widely seen as a symbol of racism, and has been adopted by some white supremacist groups as an emblem.

Several books by Holocaust deniers are currently available for purchase through Amazon. Richard Harwood's "Did Six Million Really Die?: The Truth at Last," a 1974 pamphlet that has been banned in Germany, is ranked No. 78 on the retailer's list of bestselling Kindle books about the Holocaust.

Another book, "The Six Million: Fact or Fiction?" by Peter Winter, is ranked No. 64 on Amazon's German history bestseller list. The book has received several customer reviews, with most readers giving the book either one star or five stars.

One of the negative reviews states that "Amazon should be ashamed to sell this junk!" A customer who gave the book five stars writes, "I will never think of WW2 in the same way...great insight..very brave Author thank you."

In an article on the conservative website the Daily Caller published last month, reporter Blake Neff listed 13 items that Amazon was still selling after removing Confederate flags from its store. The list includes the Holocaust denial book "The Holocaust Hoax Exposed: Debunking the 20th Century's Greatest Fabrication" by Victor Thorn, which is still for sale on Amazon.

Some of the other items on the list appear to have been pulled, including a swastika pendant, which is listed as "currently unavailable," and an armband featuring the logo of the SS, the Nazi paramilitary group, which has apparently been removed from the site altogether.

Denying the Holocaust is illegal in some countries, including Germany, Israel and Poland. No such law exists in the United States.

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