BERLIN Jan 16 Adolf Hitler's "Mein
Kampf", banned from German bookstores, will soon be available
from newspaper kiosks after a British publisher said he would
print excerpts from the text in Germany.
But the state of Bavaria, which owns the copyrights to the
Nazi vision of Aryan racial supremacy, said it was considering
legal steps to block publication.
Reprinting the Nazi dictator's autobiography, which outlines
his ambitions to seize vast areas of land in eastern Europe to
provide living space for the so-called master race, is outlawed
in Germany except for academic study.
The first of three 16-page extracts from the book,
accompanied by a critical commentary, will be published later
this month with a print run of 100,000 each, Peter McGee, head
of London-based publishing firm Albertas Ltd told Reuters.
"It is a sensitive subject in Germany but the incredible
thing is most Germans don't have access to 'Mein Kampf' because
it has this taboo, this 'black magic' surrounding it," he said.
"We want 'Mein Kampf' to be accessible so people can see it
for what it is, and then discard it. Once exposed, it can be
consigned to the dustbin of literature," he said.
The excerpts will be distributed as a supplement to the
company's existing weekly publication, a controversial series
called "Zeitungszeugen", or "Newspaper Witnesses", which
reprints pages of Nazi newspapers from the 1920s and 1930s,
along with a commentary.
The latest edition of the series, which was released last
week, has so far sold 250,000 copies, according to McGee.
But the Bavarian state finance ministry in southern Germany,
which holds the copyrights, said on Monday the magazine
supplement would breach copyright law.
"The Bavarian finance ministry is currently considering
legal steps against this publication," a spokesman for the
ministry said in a statement.
However, McGee defended the supplement and said his company
was acting completely within the laws of copyright.
The distribution of Nazi ideology for non-educational
purposes has been forbidden in Germany since the end of World
War Two. Swastikas and the stiff-armed Nazi salute are also
(Reporting by Alice Baghdjian, editing by Paul Casciato)