Court rules Zeitungzeugen project can continue if limited

Court rules <i>Zeitungzeugen</i> project can continue if limited
Photo: DPA
A German court ruled Wednesday that a British publisher could continue to sell reprints of Nazi-era newspapers in Germany, but only for editions up until the start of World War II.

The Bavarian state government had launched legal action to put a complete stop to publisher Peter McGee selling reprints of Nazi newspapers like the Völkischer Beobachter in annotated facsimiles.

The court in Munich ruled in the government’s favour, but only for editions of the newspapers dating from 1939 until the end of World War II in 1945. The Bavarian government said it would appeal.

Bavaria’s finance ministry holds the rights to all publications from the main Nazi publishing house and was suing McGee for copyright infringement. It was also worried about possible offence and potential misuse by neo-Nazis.

Defenders of the series on sale since January, known as Zeitungszeugen, or “Newspaper Witnesses,” said it was accompanied by commentary from leading historians putting the papers in their proper historical context.

A row over the republished papers followed a similar spat last year over the republication of Hitler’s autobiography Mein Kampf, or “My Struggle,” which has been banned in Germany since the end of World War II.