WH Smith removes Mein Kampf from branch in Jordan and promises franchise policy review in letter to CAA
15th December 2015
Following the shocking revelation that a WH Smith branch was stocking Adolf Hitler’s antisemitic diatribe, Mein Kampf, on its “Bestselling Books” shelf, WH Smith’s CEO has written to Campaign Against Antisemitism promising swift action.
We were contacted by supporters who had read an article in The Jerusalem Post which showed photographs of an Arabic translation of Mein Kampf for sale 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.
We immediately contacted the retailer and received a swift and unequivocal apology from CEO Steve Clarke.
WH Smith’s branch in the airport is operated by a franchised affiliate, and WH Smith can take no punitive action against the staff involved. The book has however been removed from the shelves and WH Smith has confirmed that stocking Mein Kampf is already banned under the company’s ranging policy which franchisees must obey. The company’s international management team are now reviewing their franchise policies following the incident to ensure that they are sufficiently robust should this reoccur.
We regret that the person who decided to stock Mein Kampf will almost certainly go without sanction or education, but we accept that is not within WH Smith’s power. We welcome WH Smith’s speedy and appropriate response.