Ban on Mein Kampf to remain

13th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

13 September 2007, AMSTERDAM (dpa) - Dutch education minister Ronald Plasterk said there were no plans to lift a ban on Adolf Hitler's book Mein Kampf, after comments in which he was quoted as saying the book should be made freely available were published Wednesday.

13 September 2007

AMSTERDAM (dpa) - Dutch education minister Ronald Plasterk said there were no plans to lift a ban on Adolf Hitler's book Mein Kampf, after comments in which he was quoted as saying the book should be made freely available were published Wednesday.

Dutch magazine Hollands Diep earlier Wednesday quoted Plasterk as saying in an interview that "Perhaps we should lift the ban on Mein Kampf. Let it be freely obtainable."

The Labour PvdA member later said his remarks did "not indicate a policy change" and that he understood the emotional reactions to his remarks that erupted following the release of the interview.

"Mein Kampf is the symbol of all the atrocities of World War II," Plasterk added.

His remarks in the interview, Plasterk said, were meant as a reply to the repeated calls on the government by Geert Wilders, leader of the right-wing Freedom party PVV, to ban the Koran entirely.

Wilders proposed the ban on the Muslim holy scripture arguing that the Koran incites people to hatred and violence.

"Most people think banning the Koran is one step too far," Plasterk had told Hollands Diep. "But Wilders is right when he says people object to a ban on the Koran while at the same time Mein Kampf is not freely obtainable."

But Dutch politicians responded emotionally after having read the interview.

The Christian Democrats CDA, the biggest party in the coalition government, criticised Plasterk's remarks.

The Christian Union, the smallest coalition partner, was less critical about the minister's remarks. A spokesman for the party's parliamentary faction stressed that no ban existed on the academic use of Mein Kampf.

Wilders said lifting the ban on Hitler's book is "absolutely insane."

"I am calling upon the government to ban one book which incites to hatred and violence, and in response we have got another hate inciting book back. This will certainly please the fascists," he said.

However, other parties supported Plasterk's proposal to lift the ban on Mein Kampf. On behalf of Labour PvdA, the second biggest party in the coalition, legislator Aleid Wolfsen said he agreed "in principle" with fellow party member Plasterk.

Most opposition parties, including centre-liberal VVD party, left-liberal D66 party as well as the leftist Greens, said they did not object to lifting the ban.

[Copyright dpa 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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