March 15, 2012
British publisher to fight ‘Mein Kampf’ ban
A British publisher is vowing to fight a Munich court’s decision to permanently ban his publication of excerpts of Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.”
Peter McGee wanted to print excerpts last January in a 16-page insert to his German publication “Zeitungszeugen,” or “Newspaper Witnesses,” together with critical commentary from historians. The insert, one of three planned supplements, also would have been sold separately. But the Munich Regional Court last week upheld a restraining order issued by a lower court that barred McGee from fulfilling his goal.
The court said the right to “cite” a text does not mean it is acceptable to publish excerpts.
McGee told reporters that he respected the court decision and would not sell his supplement, which is titled “The Unreadable Book.” He said his goal was not to sensationalize but to demystify the text, and that he would continue to fight the court decision. According to the German Press Agency dpa, McGee had to make the excerpts from Hitler’s book illegible by pixilating the texts.
The Bavarian Finance Ministry holds the copyright, which bars publication until 2015 — 70 years after Hitler’s death.
In 2010, the Munich-based Institute for Contemporary History was granted permission to reprint the work after the copyright runs out.
Historian Edith Raim, who is working on the annotated edition for the institute, said in an interview that excerpts of the book were published decades ago in Germany, notably by the late German historian Werner Maser.