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Thoughts from me about things that are cool, that are WoW, that blow me away. Observations about businesses and people from a wide variety of life. Daily encounters - and thoughts outside the box, inside the box and without any box. New thinking, and challenging old thinking. Passionate about life, about respect, and about integrity.

Saturday, November 01, 2003

A Real Show of Integrity and Social Responsibility - MPH Malaysia Withdraws Adolf Hitler "Mein Kampf"

Since I am from Germany I have been raised in the awareness of fascism and xenophopia – in fact, I am proud to say that I was part of an anti-fascism movement. While I am now living in Malaysia, I still keep my eyes open for comments that disturb my consciousness for equality, be it verbally, somewhere when walking along the street, or reading about happenings anywhere else.

Last week, I went shopping in MPH in Bangsar, the bookshop located in this part of Kuala Lumpur. I was shocked to see Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” (My fight) in the shop in a prime place. Next thing I did was writing an e-mail to their customer service. Since it was a major holiday in Malaysia, I didn’t expect any response until mid-last week, and than, on Wednesday, send a reminder to their marketing team. And I am happy to report that MPH withdrew the book from the shelves. I admire their integrity, that in a time of terror, ethic strives and war they took the initiative to forego potential profits from a book full of hate. I was aware that a similar discussion took place, when in Germany offered the book on their webpage and that public uproar let to a related withdrawal. Other bookchains followed, one, whose name I cannot remember, was located in Canada. However, the book is still on sale via Amazon in the UK and in the US. Their CEO, Bozo, stated, that it is a historical book and that readers have a right to purchase it – I didn’t know that and wrote in my mail to MPH, that the book seller had withdrawn the book. Amazon argues that they don’t want to suppress information to a main piece of history. True – but what is needed is an embedment of the statements in this book in a historical context. If it is left alone like this, people won’t understand the background and what followed. Just read the comments about the book on Amazon’s webpage and everyone will see what I mean. Not only is it high in the sales ranks, but the reader comments are even praising – the book’s style, and Hitler’s “intelligence”! My goodness !!

My first mail to MPH:
"I was always satisfied with your selection of books and
my experience with your service has always been great -
until today!

I visited MPH Bangsar this morning and was shocked to
see that you have Adolf Hitler - Mein Kampf for sale.
Don't you remember the tragic and horrible events of
the Second World War that costs the life of 60 million
people and which was carried out under the banner of
hate, destruction and disgust for others?

We are living in a world today that is threatened to
forget the lessons of this war. Headers in newspapers
read about genocide, the war of civilizations, the rise
of the far right in Europe, terror in the Middle East,
Asia and elsewhere, and an increasing fear and mistrust
of foreigners in general.

Malaysia still appears to be an island in a rough sea,
with major ethnic groups living and working together in
harmony and understanding. It has its own problems but
tries bravely to challenge and tackle those

I and hope that I am not the only one who is deeply
offended by your move to sell this despicable book. I
really would like to ask you to remove this book from
your shelves and follow other companies who did so
already (e.g., or who showed through
different actions that integrity and social
responsibility should not be undermined by the search
for profit but contributes to business success as well.
I am more than happy to discuss with you further, if
there is a need from you.

Looking forward to a response from you to this e-mail
and also an honourable action.

Best regards,

(My Name)"

My second mail to MPH:

The mail below was sent to your customer service last
Saturday. I understand that this was the Deepavali
festival, and that this might be the reason that I
haven't got any response to my mail below.

However, I am writing to you as concerned customer -
having purchased many books from your stores. And as
such, I honestly don't believe that silence is an
appropriate answer to the mail below.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Best regards,
(My Name)

And, finally, their response:

Dear Sir,

We apologize for the delay in replying to you.

While the objective of the sales of this book is merely to provide readers with better understanding of Hitler through his book from a historical standpoint, we do appreciate your comments and have instructed the shops to remove the book from the stores.

We thank you for bringing our attention to this matter and hope you will continue to support and patronise our stores.

Yours sincerely

(Their Name)"

I send them a thank you mail and congratulated them on their action. What do you think? Send a mail to


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