World Bulletin / News Desk
Reprinting or selling Adolf Hitler's “Mein Kampf” is illegal in Germany, but with the copyright term on the 90-year-old book set to run out next year, lawmakers are mulling whether to ban or reprint the highly controversial work.
A meeting was held between the Regional and national German justice ministers on Wednesday at the island of Rügen to discuss whether Germany should make a new law banning Hitler's National Socialist manifesto once the 70-year copyright term, which started in 1945, runs out.
President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dieter Graumann, told The Local he would strongly oppose ever publishing the work.
"The very thought of a new publication of Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ is more than disgusting and goes against all my beliefs to fight neo-fascism and right-wing extremism," said Graumann.
"This book was and will remain a pure anti-Semitic work of irrational hatred that should be forbidden for evermore. It is an abhorrent pamphlet full of incitement of the Jewish people and it brutally hurts the feelings of the Shoa-survivors."
The state of Bavaria, which took over rights after Hitler's death at the end of World War II is the current copyright holder. However after 2015 anyone can print and sell the book.
Bavaria's Justice Minister Winfried Bausback said in a statement on Wednesday: "We owe it to the victims of the holocaust and their relatives to do everything we can to prevent the duplication and distribution of this ideological, inflammatory text."
"I would prefer this book to be forbidden forever. Regrettably and obviously we cannot prevent a new publication, since the copyright is about to expire by the end of the year 2015," added Graumann.
“So if a publication cannot be avoided, it should be at least guaranteed that there is a scholarly edition which provides a scientific and critical analysis in order to demystify this horrible text.”
Lower Saxony's Justice Minister Antje Niewisch-Lennartz said at the ministers’ conference that a legal ban of printing and distributing the work is not an answer.
The Green Party politician suggested that the work should be allowed to be published with an academic commentary so the anti-Semitic text could have a “preventative effect” against fascism.
Niewisch-Lennartz acknowledges that for some Jewish groups putting the book back on sale in Germany would be 'almost unbearable'.
Millions of copies were published and given to newlyweds as a gift, after Hitler rose to power.
In 1943 ten million copies of the work were thought to be in German households.Last Mod: 25 Haziran 2014, 15:15