Aus Post probes book slur

The book stocked by Australia Post.

AUSTRALIA Post is investigating a book widely available through its retail outlets that claims Adolf Hitler resented Jews because they “kept their wealth to themselves and were disinclined to show benevolence”.

The book, World War I, the definitive guide to the war that changed the world, was browsed by a rabbi and his 14-year-old daughter during a visit to the Balaclava branch of Australia Post, and they reported it to the Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC).

The AJN understands there are around 2000 copies of a three-set series that includes the book in stock at Australia Post shops, part of a bulk purchase.

Published by British publisher Igloobooks, the book, which does not name an author, claims to offer a historical narrative of World War I.

Towards the end of the book, there is a photograph of Hitler, accompanied by the words: “In addition, Hitler had developed resentment for Jews, because they seemed to be well of (sic) in relation to the rest of the population, but kept their wealth to themselves and were disinclined to show benevolence. Thus, Hitler had his targets for vilification, which he would use to whip up a frenzy of hatred and blame.”

ADC chair Dvir Abramovich condemned the book’s apparent justification of Hitler’s anti-Semitism. “It traffics in age-old despicable and hurtful stereotypes of Jews as wealthy and better off than most Germans, and depicts them as stingy, greedy and uncaring about their own country.

“This blaming and scapegoating of the Jews was part of the Nazi propaganda that led to the systematic extermination of millions in the death camps. These outrageous slurs and blood libels should not find a home in any Australia Post stores, and fly in the face of the reality that Jewish citizens have always been extraordinarily generous and philanthropic.

“We call on all Australia Post stores to immediately remove this deeply offensive book,” he said.

A spokesperson for Australia Post told The AJN that as an immediate step, all copies of the book have been withdrawn from stock at its Balaclava shop.

“We can confirm that Australia Post will not be stocking this series of books in future,” the spokesperson stated.

“The opinions held in these books do not represent the views of Australia Post, and we sincerely apologise for offence caused.

“Australia Post purchases a large number of books covering a range of topics from reputable publishers for our outlets. This series was sourced from one of the largest publishers in the United Kingdom, and as such we rely and trust the editors to ensure content is edited correctly.”

PETER KOHN