'Mein Kampf' publisher loses Poland appeal

27th April 2010, Comments 0 comments

A Polish publisher who printed extracts of Adolf Hitler's autobiography-cum-manifesto "Mein Kampf" Tuesday lost an appeal against a conviction for breach of copyright, PAP news agency reported.

The case was brought by the German state of Bavaria, which has held the rights to the work since the Nazi dictator's death in 1945 and which regularly invokes copyright law to stop its anti-Semitic ideology from being spread.

Marek S., owner of the XXL publishers in Wroclaw, southern Poland, was handed a suspended three-month jail sentence and a 2,271-euro fine in May last year over the translated excerpts.

Judge Alojzy Zawadzki said the Wroclaw court of appeal had rejected the defence lawyers' arguments against his conviction, PAP said.

"Mein Kampf" ("My Struggle") has been banned in Germany since the end of World War II, and Bavaria holds the rights until 2015.

Hitler wrote the book while in jail. The title means "My Struggle" in English, although he originally wanted to call it "Four And A Half Years Of Struggle Against Lies, Stupidity And Cowardice".

The book, which outlines Hitler's extreme ideology, initially had a small print run but during his time as German leader from 1933 to 1945, it was enormously popular.

Judges had dismissed a first case against the Polish publisher in 2007, after he agreed to withdraw the book from sale and destroy as many as possible of the print run of 20,000.

Bavaria decided however to bring a second case, which it won last year.

© 2010 AFP

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