Bavaria Plans To Continue To Ban Mein Kampf After Copyright Expires

Credit: Adam Jones, Ph.D./wikimediaCredit: Adam Jones, Ph.D./wikimediaThe German state of Bavaria, which owns the rights to Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf, plans to continue to ban the book after copyright expires in 2015.

According to the BBC, officials in Bavaria will not be releasing an edited version of the book as planned.

Of course, anyone is Bavaria can read Hitler’s drivel online, and Bavaria’s prohibition is unlikely to stop anyone interested in reading Mein Kampf from doing so.

Although the decision from Bavarian officials is unlikely to stop Hitler’s work from being read, it does highlight Europe's far from ideal relationship with free speech.

In Germany, the Nazi Party is banned and denying the Holocaust is a punishable offense. Other countries, such as Austria, Poland, and Hungary also have legislation that punishes denial of the Holocaust.

Unsurprisingly, memories of the persecution of the Jews in Europe under the Nazi’s still has the power to influence policy. The Bavarian Science Minister, Ludwig Spaenle, said, “Many conversations with Holocaust victims and their families have shown us that any sort of reprint of the disgraceful writings would cause enormous pain.”

As Reason’s Jacob Sullum noted last year when writing about Germany’s relationship with Scientology, similar legislation banning Holocaust denial or the publication of books like Mein Kampf would be considered "unambiguously unconstitutional in the United States":

The same government that has targeted Scientology because of its alleged threat to "pluralistic democracy" also uses that rationale to justify bans on hate speech, Holocaust denial, symbols and books associated with the Nazi regime, and ethnically divisive political groups. All those policies would be unambiguously unconstitutional in the United States, where the government is not allowed to suppress opinions, religious or not, based on the harm that might flow from them.

Laws against Holocaust denial and bans on books are illiberal and should not be enacted. That said, it is worth remembering that although the Second World War may have ended decades ago many Jews in Europe recently reported a rise in anti-semitism

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  • Jeff||

    You know who else banned books in Bavaria...

  • Pro Libertate||

    Yeah, but not that book.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The Germans also ban homeschooling, because ve must properly socialize der kinder!

    And what if some German professor brings out a critical edition explaing Hitler's errors and pointing out the results of implementing the book's policies? Would it still be too offensive to permit?

  • ||

    Nazi literature and iconography is still permissible for educational and historical purposes.

    It's why the German government permits the filming of movies like Downfall.

  • Free Society||

    They have no right to give permission for something they have no right obstruct.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Because nothing says we're anti-Nazi like a good book banning.

  • ||

    "The great strength of the totalitarian state is that it forces those who fear it to imitate it."

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    So this is why so many people incorrectly think there are drastic differences between Nazis and Communists. So, for my Bavarian friends out there, the difference is in the taste of the uniform designers. That's it. That's all. Okay, one more difference, the Nazis had deeds to property that were as meaningless as the non-existent deeds to property in Russia.

  • John Galt||

    Nazis and Communists are far more similar than different as far as strains of socialism go. So similar that both flavors firmly believed it was their own destiny, and right, to rule the world.

  • Hawk Spitui||

    And that distinguishes them from America exactly how?

  • Free Society||

    That analogy is relevant how?

  • ||

    Not marching on Poland is a good place to start...

  • Enough About Palin||

    It's a little no fact that the book's working title was Träume von Mein Vater.

    The more you know

  • Free Society||

    sehr gut

  • Caleb Turberville||

    German people must be protected from themselves lest they read Mein Kampf and bring about eine Vierte Reich!

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Perhaps they find Das Kapital a suitable substitute.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Das Kapital has less a chance of being banned than Der Weg zur Knechtschaft,

  • brec||

    persecution of the Jews in Europe under the Nazi’s [sic] still has the power

    Grocer's apostrophe

  • Sigivald||

    Ironically, the only thing such a ban does, really, is give the neo-Nazis a fig leaf of "they ban our ideas because they can't argue against them".

    It's not true (because it's easy to argue against them; the Hitlerist* worldview has never been very coherent or well-thought-out and has no decent basis in fact), but it may well be effective in getting a few converts on the side.

    (* Hitlerist because that's what the Nazi movement was called during the War - "Hitlerism", and because "Fascist" per the original Italian use lacks some of the specific ills of Naziism, bad as it is by itself.)

  • ||

    Ironically, the only thing such a ban does, really, is give the neo-Nazis a fig leaf of "they ban our ideas because they can't argue against them".

    It also gives power to that retarded crap, which would otherwise serve as nothing but the butt of jokes. Just like political correctness gives power to meaningless words by striking them from the vocabulary. The power to offend only comes from those who become offended.

  • RishJoMo||

    Slap Daddy SoSo is not going to like that at all man.

    www.Privacy-Planet.com

  • ||

    All those policies would be unambiguously unconstitutional in the United States, where the government is not allowed to suppress opinions, religious or not, based on the harm that might flow from them.

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

    *deep breath*

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

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