Frankfurt book fair’s ‘hate texts’

By Toby Axelrod, October 24, 2008

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre has urged the Frankfurt Book Fair to take action after discovering allegedly antisemitic texts at the event.

There had been no response at press time from the fair organisers.

In a letter to book-fair director Jürgen Boos, Shimon Samuels of the Wiesenthal Centre reported that several books in the stands of Turkey, Egypt, Palestine and Iran were "in violation of their contractual obligations to the Frankfurt Book Fair - among them are chronic annual recidivists.

"Consequently, our centre urges you to promptly confiscate these offensive texts and to blacklist the respective exhibitors from participation in the 60th Fair in 2009."

Turkey is special guest at this year's fair. In past years, antisemitic texts - including volumes banned in Germany, such as hoax Protocols of the Elders of Zion - have been found. Among books available this week on the exhibit shelves of Turkish publishers and on sale at the official Turkish stand were volumes speculating on the Jewish origins of Turkish politicians, books alleging Jewish control of President Bush and another alleging Israeli control of Turkey.

In his letter to Mr Boos, Mr Samuels said that the centre expected Ankara "to curb the dissemination of antisemitism, consonant with its commitments as a member of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and its aspirations to membership in the European Union".

Last updated: 1:19pm, October 23 2008