Mein Kampf publisher fighting book ban

A British publisher, who wants to sell 100,000 copies of critical passages from Hitler's Mein Kampf on newsstands all over Germany, has vowed to fight a Munich court ban.

Peter McGee, who runs the Albertas publishing company in London's Covent Garden, believes reprinting segments of Hitler's seminal ideological work would remove its "aura and mystique" in a country which has seen increasing measures to curb far-right groups. Although Mein Kampf is not officially banned, Germany's state of southern Bavaria, which owns the copyright, has prevented its distribution for nearly 70 years by not allowing reprints. The copyright runs out in 2015.

This week Mr McGee said he would be appealing against a permanent injunction on his German magazine Zeitungszeugen (Newspaper Witnesses) enforced last Thursday (March 8) by Munich's district court. The ruling bans three Mein Kampf supplements, comprising segments of the book alongside expert historian commentary, because of copyright infringement. The magazine, which republishes Nazi-era newspapers as a historical education project, is used in German schools and universities, and sells 100,000 copies weekly to the public.

Mr McGee said the Mein Kampf supplement would not produce commercial revenue or include the book's "most disgusting and poisonous parts.

"This is not a crass attempt at reintroducing Hitler's ideology to the general public. We are trying to get the mainstream public, not the scholar or far-right crank, to read a little of the book, move on and consign it to history. But while it has this aura and mystique, it perpetuates the nonsense that surrounds the book".

    Last updated: 2:48pm, March 13 2012