Late last month, Bertelsmann, the giant publisher, pulled Mein Kampf, theNazi manifesto that Adolf Hitler wrote before he came to power, from itsonline bookstore. Barnesnoble.com also stopped selling this book. However,Amazon.com continues to sell Mein Kampf.

Why is this an e-commerce issue?The sale of Mein Kampf is illegalin Germany. Germany has a statute that makes it illegal to distributeunannotated hate literature. Even though Bertelsmann’s online German servicenever sold Mein Kampf, it was available to Germans from its English andFrench services. The Simon Weisenthal Center in Los Angeles had filed acomplaint with the German Justice Ministry accusing Barnes & Noble andAmazon.com of violating the German law by selling a wide variety of hateliterature to German customers in violation of German law.

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