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Posted June 3, 2000

June 2, 2000

Czech Mein Kampf Publisher Charged

Mein KampfPRAGUE, Czech Republic (AP) -- The Czech publisher of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf has been charged with promotion of Nazism, police said Friday.

Michal Zitko, who published the unabridged Czech translation of Mein Kampf in March, was charged Thursday and faces up to eight years in prison if convicted, said police spokeswoman Sona Jindrakova.

Upon publication of the book in March, Zitko said he wanted to expose Czechs to Hitler's ''monstrous ideology,'' but also characterized Nazi ideas as no worse than those of communism.

Zitko said Hitler is one of the best-known people of the 20th century and everybody should have the right to read a firsthand account of his political manifesto.

The first unabridged Czech-language edition of Mein Kampf was published in 10,000 copies and immediately sold out.

Publication drew immediate protests from the Czech Jewish Community and local anti-fascist associations.

The book contains no commentaries or disclaimers.

© Copyright 1999 Associated Press

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