« Mein Kampf » was originally published in Germany in two volumes, in 1925 and 1926. At its center is an alleged Jewish conspiracy to gain world leadership. The book also describes how the Nazi leader became increasingly anti-Semitic and anti-Communist, and outlines the fascist leader’s political ideology.
It was published several years before Hitler rose to the position of German Chancellor in 1933.
The Waterstones store in Huddersfield, northern England, featured a personal recommendation of the book from a staff member, describing it as « an essential read for anyone seeking to understand one of history’s most despicable figures. A shocking read and a vital warning for future generations. » However, the pre-printed corner of the tag read « The perfect present…, » a description that some found insensitive.
Though the staff member’s description hardly counts as anti-Semitic praise, a Jewish salesman, Jonathan Levine, complained to the company, telling Waterstones that « When challenging one of the staff… I was told it was ‘a Christmas bestseller which sold really well.’ A dubious justification indeed for selling this hateful work. »
Levine has since received an apology from the company.
A spokesman for Waterstones said that they have contacted all their stores to remind them of « the sensitivities » of stocking the title, and to ensure that it is not included in the « Politics » sections of its bookstores