Holocaust survivor Peter Kubicek takes Amazon to task for selling Nazi denialist books
November 12, 2013 | 12:15 pm
By Dan Bloom
For Holocaust survivor Peter Kubicek, 83, the thought of Amazon selling Nazi-denialist books makes him sick to this stomach. He’s taking his protest straight to the top at Amazon, and he was recently interviewed on Canadian television about his protest. A resident of Queens, N.Y., Kubicek is an active Internet reader and news surfer.
When we exchanged emails recently about a British newspaper report about Amazon selling Holocaust denial and white supremacist books online, he told me: “Look at this filth being peddled on Amazon. I am actually trying to do something about it and have had correspondence with people of influence to try and shame Amazon into dropping this.”
And he is. He has written letters to Amazon and several New York area newspapers. When a Canadian news reporter noticed a comment Peter left on a website, he contacted him by email and asked if he would be willing to appear on camera via Skype. Peter appeared and spoke his mind.
“I posted a comment on Amazon’s review pages for one of those books mentioned in the British tabloid,” Peter told me by email. “As a result, I received a phone call on October 22 from a reporter from a Canadian TV station. He set up an interview with me via my FaceTime capability on my Mac computer. It was an interesting experience, but I don’t know whether it lead to anything.”
I have known a Peter for several years now, and we often correspond by email, forwarding news links about all kinds of subjects, mostly on current events, from one Internet mail box to the other. Kubricek is 83 now and was born in Czechoslavkia in 1930. He was in six labor camps as a teenage boy, and after liberation in 1945 he made his way to America with his mother to join his father who had gone to New York before the war.
In the 1980s, Kubicek started writing his memories down, mostly for his children, twin daughters born in New York. Later, he expanded his memoir into a book, and he has re-issued it in new edition that has been further expanded, including many black-and-white photos of him and his relatives, before and after the war. Told as he remembers what happened to him as a boy, the book resonates in a way that many more famous and well-known Holocaust books do not. Which is why I would recommend this book — available on Kindle and in paperback via the very same Amazon he is angry at — to readers here.
The book, a memoir, is titled Memories of Evil: A World War II Childhood because it’s about his life as a young boy before he was taken away from his home and put in the camps and his life in the camps on a day to day basis. He survived, against the odds, as he says in the book, and he says he owes it all to pure luck. In some many personal instances he experienced in a heightened reality inside the camps, as the memoir tells, things could have gone wrong and he would not have been here today.
Check out Peter’s appearance on Canadian television here. His protest continues, and others are joining him now as well.
Will Amazon back down? This story has legs.
Editor’s Note: We have previously covered this story from the perspective of media frenzy following the eBook porn purge. Dan’s story covers the other side, the personal impact of certain types of books. I’ll be curious to hear your thoughts in the comments.