Several of the country’s biggest booksellers are hawking copies of Adolf Hitler’s autobiographical manifesto on their websites for $14.88 — a number that carries symbolic meaning among white supremacists — and marketing the book with a product description that could have been written by the Führer himself.
Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million currently list the book with a pro-fascist blurb on their websites. Walmart removed its listing Monday morning in response to the backlash on Twitter. And Amazon removed the product description after HuffPost requested comment.
Modern-day racist extremists have cited “Mein Kampf,” Hitler’s early blueprint for achieving Aryan rule by blaming Jewish people for the world’s problems, as a source of inspiration. Unlike other countries, the U.S. has never prohibited its sale, even during World War II as American soldiers fought against the Nazis. But sellers typically avoid marketing the book as Nazi propaganda.
The number 1488 is commonly used within neo-Nazi circles to convey a belief in white supremacy. Fourteen is a reference to the “14 words” slogan: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.” Eighty-eight stands for “Heil Hitler” (H is the eighth letter in the alphabet).
The $14.88 price tag could have been dismissed as a bizarre coincidence if the product description didn’t read like an enthusiastic endorsement of Hitler’s racist ideology:
This book has set a path toward a much higher understanding of the self and of our magnificent destiny as living beings part of this Race on our planet. It shows us that we must not look at nature in terms of good or bad, but in an unfiltered manner. It describes what we must do if we want to survive as a people and as a Race. We have to understand that Nature does not forgive weakness and that the truth and reality is what it is, no matter how bad it may seem or how hard it can portray itself. This book shows the foundations of White Resistance and White Nationalism. It is the foundation and seed for the preservation of our Race.
The product description also boasted about the book’s sales and the fact that the edition’s translation by James Murphy is the “official” translation of the Nazi party. The product description appears to have been written by Metal-Inex, a defunct publisher that specialized in publishing books extolling fascism.
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A Walmart spokesperson told HuffPost that “this item has no place on our web site and it has been removed.” The spokesperson declined to explain how the pro-Nazi message ended up on its website.
Amazon has official guidelines prohibiting products that “promote, incite or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual or religious intolerance or promote organizations with such views.” Despite their guidelines, the retail giant has a history of selling books, clothing and toys that promote hateful ideologies.
The Amazon version of “Mein Kampf” that matched the price and description of the other retailers was published by CreateSpace, a self-publishing service owned by Amazon. White supremacist lawyer Kyle Bristow used CreateSpace to publish his racist work of fiction “White Apocalypse,” which is also available on Amazon.
A separate Amazon listing of Hitler’s autobiography inaccurately claims: “‘Mein Kampf’ is often portrayed as nothing more than an Anti-Semitic work, however only 6% of it even talks about the Jews. The rest contains Hitler’s ideas and beliefs for a greater nation plus his plan on how to accomplish that goal.”
The Walmart listing was first flagged on Twitter by political consultant David Slavick, whose friend came across a Facebook ad from Walmart eBooks promoting Hitler’s writings. “Start reading with Walmart eBooks today and get $10 off your first purchase,” the ad suggested, accompanied by a picture of “Mein Kampf” with the genocidal leader’s face on the cover.