Apple allows Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ e-book into the app store

Fri, Nov 6, 2009


Well this sure is surprising.  Apple, which is notorious for rejecting apps that appear to poke just a little bit innocent fun at political figures like George Bush and Barack Obama, has accepted a Spanish translation of Hitler’s Mein Kampf as an e-book into the iTunes App Store.

Even more disturbing is that the app’s icon prominently features a medallion with a swastika sitting smak dab in the middle.  Now how in the world did Apple’s app store review team ever let this one through?  Mein Kampf was written by Hitler in 1923 and is part autobiographical and partly explains Hitler’s hateful political ideology.  It’s naturally filled with a plethora of racist content and it’s pretty mind boggling that Apple’s app store censors let this one slide through.

Now some might be quick to argue that this is a free speech issue, but Apple isn’t a public forum and as has been evident over the past few months, it has no reservations about rejecting apps for even the smallest improprieties.  That being the case, why would Apple allow such a book into iTunes at all?  And even if we presume that the book is available merely as a means for historical study of the events leading up to World War II, wouldn’t you think that someone at Apple would have had a problem with the swastika used as the apps icon?

Update: As a clarification, we’re not advocates of censorship by any means, but Apple operates the app store using its own standards for what constitutes offensive and inappropriate material.  If Apple wants to let everything into the app store with with little to no review, then by all means – but that’s not how Apple operates and the acceptance of Mein Kampf is completely dumbfounding considering some of the apps Apple has rejected.  And again, at the very least, an app with a swastika for an icon should raise some red flags.



11 Comments For This Post

  1. Z Says:

    it’s educational.. most college students have to read it their freshman year.

  2. Mike Says:

    I don’t know what college you went to Z, but that’s completely untrue.

  3. Jim Says:

    Yes, yes… the swastika is evil – just ask anyone in Asia.

    And the book is garbage, but then again so are fart apps.

    This reminds me of a Canadian bookseller that refused to sell this book.

    My only question is why can you buy this book in Israel but not in Germany?

  4. Kamper Says:

    What is the big deal? I am pretty sure they also got “Das Kapital”, “Wealth of Nations” and “The holy Bible” up for sale. Propaganda always sell well.

  5. Scott B. Says:

    “Z” is correct, allot of top level colleges require this as reading, and just remember for the closed minded folks out their, that think this is bad remember the following:

    “To forget the past will almost certainly destine your future to allow the same thing to happen Again”

    To understand the thinking of one of the most “Horrific” persons of our time is to understand “or at least try” to find ways to Notice others that follow the same path.

    I have a degree in psychology and the study’s of Hitler have been used to gauge and teach others to recognize thinking and that their of the process of such that cause antisocial behavior.

    And Hitler including “Mein Kampf” is a perfect case study into the mind of a psychopath and the direction that led him to do those horrible and inhumane atrocities.

    And also History Scholars will argue that it is important to read this, But to those who do not understand why and are not interested in History or the Psychology of the Mind will see this as a Bad Thing.

    It’s all a mater of prospective, But Placing a book on the “Critical” Your a bad person if you read this, is only showing that the closed minds of others will Judge others for what they read and have no understanding in the truth of history and why it occurred the way it did, and of the impotence of understanding the thought of the writer.

    What is Next Criticizers??
    “Book burnings of the past destroyed countless Written works because those that did not understand, even objectionable material in the eyes of some points to the inner thought of the writer, and can give a different prospective of the thought’s of a writer”.

    And Yes “Mike” it is part of Many College Freshmen’s Curriculum to use this written work as a first person prospective in what the reader thinks of the “Mind” of the Author. ” AKA:Hitler

    Also Reading a work or offering it does not make Someone to be looked at and judged as of questionable demeanor.

    Understanding History is not a bad thing and helps us not repeat the same mistakes as the past has recorded.

    Having a closed mind is more dangerous and will ensue the same outcome as before.

  6. tz Says:

    This should not be censored. Reading such works can be quite educational. It could shed light on some similar new work written right here in this day and age.
    The First Amendment is a cornerstone an open society.

  7. Cookie Says:

    It’s not a big deal. It’s just a book. That doesn’t mean apple agrees with what’s written on it, just like if you read the bible you don’t have to believe in God. One thing has nothing to do with the other. It’s just a book

  8. tmett Says:

    I think the question here is not whether the book/app should be allowed, but more “why this and not that?” or why are some political apps being rejected and others are not? it is a question of policy consistency as presented here.

    most likely the answer is simply because one is considered an important literary work while the others are regarded as merely editorial or satire. responding to that it could then be argued from a first amendment standpoint that this would still be a questionable policy.

  9. AdamC Says:

    Wow, now a blogger is riding his high horse claiming this app should be banned because he said so.

    Tech bloggers are the one who gave Apple a bad name, first by damning Apple’s ban on the fart apps and then giving front page space to every developer who whined about their apps being delayed or banned. Now the fart apps had boomeranged back on Apple and making a joke their app store because of them.

    And now this one whined about a book… btw do we care what you read and care what you said.

  10. Chill Says:

    Reading this book as an assignment is something else then publishing it and earning money on it. This book stands for so many bad things. Makes me sad to see all you people defend Apple on this. Every idiot who have read history know that it repeat itself. And that’s why we learn it in school. SO WE CAN PREVENT HISTORY FROM REPEATING ITSELF. This, is doing the opposite, letting small children over the age of nine read it. The next Hitler could pop up because as a child he read it on the app store.

    Stupid Stupid people you all are.

  11. matt Says:

    I think the reason people are outraged is because this is the book that convinced so many to hate and kill an entire people. But having this on the app store doesn’t make it any more available than it currently is. You can download an english language version for free online anytime. So, whatever. It’s a book. Been there for a while. Hitler was a dick. Let’s move on together.
    I’m a Jew by the way.

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