Stephan J Kramer: Let Germans Read Mein Kampf

Roundup: Talking About History

Stephan J Kramer is General Secretary of the Central Council of Jews in Germany.

Contrary to what some people may think, there is, at present, no general prohibition against the publication of Adolf Hitler's book.

The reason it has been possible to ban new editions is purely technical. After World War II, the state of Bavaria became the owner of parts of Hitler's property which had been confiscated by the occupying powers - including the copyright to the dictator's publications.

Thus Bavaria has been able, so far, to use its discretion and block new editions. However, the copyright expires in 2015.

The only imaginable way to continue the existing ban beyond 2015 would be explicit legislation to this effect - a complicated process which might even run into constitutional difficulties and fail to clear the hurdle of the Constitutional Court.

What a triumph for the Nazis this would be...

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