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Posted Thursday, January 22, 2004

Kalle Hägglund, owner of the publishing house "Hägglunds förlag", published a Swedish edition of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf. The German authorities managed to get the Swedish High Court to forbid the publication on the copyright grounds -- but not for long.

January 22, 2004

The Swedish Mein Kampf edition cleared

Mein KampfIN 1992 publisher Kalle Hagglund published Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf in Swedish. The successful editon was disseminated among i.a. a great number of libraries all over Sweden. No one really thought it would be unproblematic. For example, the German federal state of Bavaria involved Hagglund in a dispute, claiming to own the copyright to the Swedish edition.

Recently it is reaffirmed by a Stockholm prosecutor that a preliminary investigation against Hagglund is not to take place.

Mein Kampf may well be the world's most controversial book. Adolf Hitlers philosophy and visions in one and the same book was not only financial fuel for Hitler personally. It was also a corner-stone of propaganda for manipulating the German people.

Its continual publishing is of course just as controversial. No matter where in the world it is published there are debates for and against. Sweden is no exception. As Kalle Hagglund in 1992 published a Swedish edition, finally there was consensus that this book has an absolute historical value and ought to be studied, which is marked by the fact that a number of libraries bought the book.

Germany is probably the country where the relationship to this book is more emtional than elsewhere. The Free State of Bavaria made contact with Hagglund, claiming that it owned the Swedish copyright to Hitler's best-seller. Bavaria demanded the edition to be confiscated. Investigations followed and in the end the Supreme Court of Sweden ruled that Kalle Hagglund owned no copyright: However, the Supreme Court could not confirm who actually did own it, nor was Bavaria the copyrightowner.

In the present edition, as is customary with the publishing business, Hagglund points out that all care and effort has been expanded in order to find the holder of copyright. If he or she steps forward, there is royalty money to collect. With this, Hagglund is cleared from responsibility according to Swedish and international law.

On December 18, 2003 the Stockholm City Prosecutor Chamber decided that no preliminary investigation against Hagglund is to take place. The reason is simply that there is no ground for an investigation. In spite of its controversial content -- and in spite of its author -- Mr. Hagglund has the right to publish the book as an historical document until the correct copyright owner, if any, turns up and denies Mr. Hagglund that right.



Related materials:

  • For an article on the above, "Mein Kampf banned" see Folket i Bild no 10/1997 [Swedish | English] (this was before the Supreme Court judgement in December 1998).
  • CopyReich: Sweden
© Focal Point 2004 e-mail:  write to David Irving