Bavarians block move to serialise Adolf Hitler autobiography Mein Kampf
A BRITISH publisher’s plans to begin selling extracts from Adolf Hitler’s hate-filled autobiography Mein Kampf at German newspaper kiosks and shops this week is set to be blocked.
Peter McGhee wanted to break a taboo that has existed since 1945 and the downfall of the Third Reich by putting the rantings of the Nazi leader before a new generation of Germans.
It was a plan even supported by the authority representing Germany’s Jews as being “overdue” as well as academics and social commentators.
But, against the backdrop of rising neo-Nazism in Germany, the state of Bavaria – which owns the copyright – is now poised to prevent the publishing venture.
A spokesman for the state confirmed yesterday it is looking at “legal measures” to keep the cover closed on a book that is available everywhere else in Europe and on the internet.
The Bavarian finance ministry in a statement said that Mr McGhee’s plans to reproduce three 15-page segments of the book with critical commentary would violate its copyright. Technically not under a ban, Bavaria has never licensed it to be published in Germany.
“Permission to publish volumes isn’t granted in Germany or abroad,” said the statement, adding that Bavaria would use “all means at its disposal” to fight copyright infringements. Its aim was to prevent the “spread of National Socialist propaganda and signal opposition to its content.”
Germany’s Central Council of Jews has said the reprints could help “demystify” the book. President Dieter Graumann said: “I can do without the publication of this hate-filled book saturated with anti-Semitism. But if one must read it, then rather it is in the framework of a critical commentary [than otherwise].”
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