Britain / 23-12-2011
Bookstore says Hitler's Mein Kampf is the perfect Christmas present
Booksellers Waterstone's has apologised for inappropriately promoting Adolf Hitler's book Mein Kampf as a "perfect" Christmas present.
But the UK's largest bookshop chain has denied it is attempting to bolster sales of the infamously antisemitic work, despite the JC discovering several stores deliberately and prominently displaying the book.
Staff at Waterstone's in Huddersfield used a festive point-of-sale sticker to promote the book as "the perfect present" with an accompanying personal recommendation message by a staff member trumpeting the book as "an essential read for anyone".
Town-centre stores in Manchester, Liverpool and Cheshire have been displaying front covers of multiple copies of the book, a sales technique designed to attract the attention of shoppers.
The trend was first spotted by Jewish travelling salesman Jonathan Levine, 44, from north Manchester. He has now received an apology from Waterstone's, after he complained.
Mr Levine said: "I would be most obliged if Waterstone's would explain what lies behind the apparent zeal on their part to promote this disgusting work. When challenging one of the staff in Manchester's Deansgate branch, I was told that it was 'a Christmas bestseller which sold really well'. A dubious justification indeed for selling this hateful work."
A Waterstone's spokesperson said: "We do not believe we actively promote this book; our customers are capable of forming their own opinions on whether to purchase it or not.
"However, you do raise a couple of instances where we have obviously got things wrong. The book should not be stocked in any politics section, and our Huddersfield branch should not have used inappropriate seasonal stickers on the book.
"We have instructed stores accordingly, and apologise for the offence caused. We will also communicate with all our branches at the earliest possible opportunity to remind them of the sensitivities surrounding our stocking of Mein Kampf."