Publisher Will Fight German '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 news 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, told JTA that excerpts of the book were published decades ago in Germany, notably by the late German historian Werner Maser.

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Publisher Will Fight German 'Mein Kampf' Ban

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close