AR-Online logo 

 Posted Thursday, August 12, 1999

Quick navigation

Alphabetical index (text)

[H-Net Humanities & Social Sciences OnLine]

Internet Sale of Mein Kampf

Reply-To: H-NET List for History of the Holocaust <H-HOLOCAUST@H-NET.MSU.EDU>
Sender: H-NET List for History of the Holocaust <

Date: August 10, 1999

From: John Fox

Upon receipt of Susanna Hicks' reference to the New York Times article of 9 August ref. the (misleadingly titled) article concerning the internet sale of "Mein Kampf" and the reactions of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, I immediately logged on to the article to see what it was all about.

I have this to say. Are the people at the Simon Wiesenthal Centre completely off their heads in trying to block the internet sale of "Mein Kampf" to would-be German purchasers? Not only is the book a key historical document, but yet again - or should it be, "here we go again"? - their actions raise the question of censorship. Admittedly, of course, the German authorities are equally to blame in banning the distribution of the book in Germany, especially through home-grown booksellers. On the other hand, of course, nobody can stop any German from reading this important and key text in the comfort of a local or university library.

The whole thing strikes me as a total nonsense, especially since it is quite insulting to present-day Germans to try to "limit" their reading in case they are seduced by what Hitler had to say.

Something else about the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's actions greatly worries me. Will they next get it into their heads to try to "ban" the sale and even the reading of this historical text elsewhere in the world? Really, enough is enough of this "nanny-like" posturing.


John Fox


[H-Net Humanities & Social Sciences OnLine] Send comments and questions to H-Net Webstaff Copyright © 1995-99, H-Net, Humanities & Social Sciences OnLine Click Here for an Internet Citation Guide


Associated Press banner
August 11, 1999

Sale of 'Mein Kampf' Probed

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- Bavarian officials said Wednesday they're looking into possible legal steps to stop U.S. Internet companies from selling Hitler's "Mein Kampf," which is banned along with other Nazi propaganda in Germany.

In an interview on Hesse state radio in Frankfurt, Bavarian finance ministry spokesman Horst Wolff said the western allies gave Bavaria, a southeast German state, all rights to "Mein Kampf" after World War II. He said Bavaria intends to protect those rights.

Germany's foreign ministry has been asked to check what legal action Bavaria could take against U.S. booksellers that offer the book in Germany, Wolff said.

Wolff's comments came as German officials are searching for ways to stop Germans from buying Nazi propaganda from foreign Internet sites.

Under German law, books espousing Nazi philosophy are banned from public display or sale. Violations are punishable by up to five years in prison.


Our opinion
THANK goodness for the German government. Mein Kampf is one of the most boring books ever written (aside from the more recent offerings by Goldhagen and Finkelstein). During our writing career we asked every surviving top Nazi whether they had read it from cover to cover; none had. Field Marshal Milch said he got as far as page 17. We surmise that it was other factors than Mein Kampf that led to the triumph of the National Socialist movement in Germany.

The above news item is reproduced without editing other than typographical
 Register your name and address to go on the Mailing List to receive

[ Go back to AR Online Index | Index to AR.#14 | Go to Main Action Report Index ]

© Focal Point 1999 e-mail:  write to David Irving