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Friday, 5 April 2013

German official slams republication of 'Mein Kampf'

Seventy years after Hilter's death, the copyright of 'Mein Kampf' will expire in Europe, and the novel will enter the public domain.

Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler Photo: REUTERS/Stringer .
A member of Germany's opposition Social Democratic Party (SPD) strongly objects to Germany republishing Adolf Hilter's Mein Kampf, reported German international broadcaster Deutche Welle.

The exposition of Hitler's political ideologies, that eventually led to the rise of the Nazi regime and the extermination of 6 million Jews during the Holocaust, will be considered public domain once its copyright law expires in 2015, said DW.

European law states that a copyright law is void once the author of a publication has been dead for 70 years. According to DW, that will mark December 31, 2015 as the first day anyone can legally publish or distribute Hitler's writings. The rights are reportedly in the possession of the German state of Bavaria.

German parliamentarian Burkhard Lischka of The SPD told DW that he would find it an insult to victims of the Holocaust if Mein Kampf were to become available in German bookstores.

"That has to be prevented with every legal means available," Lischka said to DW. "I think that sorry book has a permanent place in history's dustbin."

Lischka also told DW that publishing this in Germany once again would "send a fatal signal," and that based on German history, they have a "unique responsibility."

Since 2009, the Institute of Contemporary History (IfZ), based in Berlin and Munich, has reportedly been working on their own edition of Mein Kampf which includes commentary, an educational tool to provide "profound historical analysis of the Nazi dictatorship," DW quoted a IfZ official as saying.

Lischka allegedly disagreed and warned DW that this could lead to the possibility that right-wing extremists will re-publish the book with "commentary none of us would want."

Lawyer Tim Hoesmann views things similarly to IfZ, according to the German broadcaster. "I think it's a step in the right direction. If the book's completely forbidden, the myths surrounding it will continue to grow."

Numerous exerpts from Hitler's book can easily be found and read on the internet, and the German justice system is effectively powerless to stop it. That's in addition to the many countries throughout the world that allow Mein Kampf to be sold in bookstores, since the copyright law is restrcited to Europe.

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