WH Smith’s CEO has apologised to Campaign Against Antisemitism a second time after another of its international outlets was found selling Adolf Hitler’s antisemitic diatribe, Mein Kampf.
WH Smith CEO Steve Clarke has instructed all ten WH Smith outlets in Singapore to immediately remove Mein Kampf, after a traveller passing through Singapore’s Changi Airport was shocked to discover a stack of Chinese translations of Adolf Hitler’s text amongst self-help books and light holiday reading.
In December 2015, WH Smith promised us firm action after Mein Kampf was found to be selling in the “Bestseller” shelves at WH Smith at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan. That Mein Kampf is a bestseller in many Arab countries is a sad reminder of the deep-rooted antisemitism across the Middle East, but we were nonetheless shocked to find WH Smith apparently catering to demand. In that case the branch was operated by a franchised affiliate. At the time, we were told that ranging policies, which already prohibited sale of such books, were being reviewed.
This time, it is one of WH Smith’s wholly-owned outlets which has been found stocking Mein Kampf.
We immediately contacted Mr Clarke who explained that the shop in the airport was the first WH Smith to open in Singapore two weeks ago, and that, being a new operation in the country, WH Smith had relied on the local distributor to provide the initial range to the company’s newly-employed book buyers. The books were immediately removed from sale and none had in fact been sold yet. Mr Clarke has committed to reiterate in writing to all owned and franchised international stores that Mein Kampf must not be stocked under any circumstances.
We are grateful to those who wrote to us alerting us to this matter.