Posts Tagged ‘all party parliamentary report into anti-Semitism’

If “never again” is to be more than just a phrase, we cannot let Mein Kampf be a best-seller

09/02/2015, 07:00:42 AM

by Thomas Docherty

Today, a cross-party report on anti-Semitism has been published which has my personal backing and that of our party leader. Anti-Semitism is a societal ill and the 34 recommendations of that report form an important roadmap to recovery. I was particularly concerned to read in the report about the increasing trend towards using Holocaust imagery and inappropriate Nazi comparisons in the context of debate on the Middle East conflict.

As readers might know, my opposition to racism and anti-Semitism is well established. Last month, I wrote on a related matter to the Culture Secretary asking him to consult on the sale of the notorious Mein Kampf, Hitler’s political philosophy which led to the systematic murder of six million Jews and others in the Holocaust.

In recent weeks and specifically following the horrendous Charlie Hebdo attacks the debate over “the right to offend” has served to underline the central importance of free speech in our society and to our democracy. Whilst I appreciate that some will disagree with me, I believe that the sale and distribution of Mein Kampf must be debated as it transcends the limits of acceptable discourse. There is, of course, historical value in its limited distribution and in proper academic study of its contents. However, the ease with which it can be obtained from online and other retailers is profoundly disturbing. Surely, we can’t be expected to believe that it’s ranking as a bestseller for Amazon arises from academic demand for the tome.

From humble beginnings, Hitler’s political design ended in unique horror of holocaust. The seeds sown by Mein Kampf are still inciting racial hatred and fuelling anti-Semitism today and it is no surprise that it has been banned in a number of other countries. The distribution of Mein Kampf twinned with the demeaning and trivialisation of the Holocaust is a very worrying trend. I was struck to read in the All-Party Parliamentary Report into Anti-Semitism during last summer that Hitler, Holocaust and Nazi were among the top 35 key words used on Twitter in relation to Jews. I was equally concerned to see that the term “Hitler was right” had trended across the world.


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