Der Giftpilz

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The Toadstool
Author Ernst Hiemer
Country Germany
Language German
Publisher Julius Streicher
Publication date
1938
Media type Print

Der Giftpilz is a children's book published by Julius Streicher in 1938.[1] The title is German for "the toadstool" or "the poisonous mushroom".[1] The book was intended as anti-Semitic propaganda. The text is by Ernst Hiemer, with illustrations by Philipp Rupprecht (also known as Fips).

In some instances, it is implied that Jews will try to molest children; one little girl escapes a Jew offering her sweets only when her brother calls the police,[2] and when Inge's mother sends her to a Jewish doctor, despite Inge's protests of what she learned in the League of German Girls, Inge barely escapes.[3] Communism is portrayed as being led by Jews who wish to sacrifice Germany to Russia's good – this being put in the mouth of a former Communist, whose loyalty to Germany brought him to the Nazi party.[4] Jews are portrayed as abusing their German servants.[5] In addition, the book warns of Jews in various occupations – Jewish businessmen,[6] lawyers,[7] tradesmen,[8] and kosher butchers, who in one chapter are described torturing an animal to death.[9] The same chapter also accuses the Jews of kidnapping Christian children to use their blood in matzohs.[9] One of the final chapters blames the Jews for the death of Jesus, who is called the greatest enemy of the Jews of all time.[10]

There is an entire chapter containing numerous false quotations from the Talmud.[11] The book claims that the Talmud forbids Jews to do manual labour, and that Jews are only permitted to engage in trade, and that non-Jews are meant to be slaves. The chapter further states that Talmudic law allows Jews to cheat non-Jews, and asks Jews to enslave the non-Jewish population. It was sometimes used in schools.[1]

A copy of the book is on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. An English-language translation of the book was produced by a U.S. Nazi leader Gary Lauck and thereafter marketed on his Web site for $10. Lauck also recently produced an Estonian language translation in 2007 and claims to be working on translations into many other languages.[12] The Estonian Internal Security Service have investigated the case under the section of Estonian penal code criminalising incitement to social hatred, but concluded that it is unlikely to have the jurisdiction or means to prosecute the author, as under American law websites are covered by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.[13]

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