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Hitler's 'Mein Kampf' Excerpts To Be Published In Germany, Riling Some Jewish Groups

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Bavarian authorities say they are looking at legal measures to prevent a British publisher's plans to reproduce excerpts from Adolf Hitler's infamous memoir
Bavarian authorities say they are looking at legal measures to prevent a British publisher's plans to reproduce excerpts from Adolf Hitler's infamous memoir "Mein Kampf" in Germany. The state Finance Ministry said Tuesday Jan 17, 2012 that Peter McGee's plans to reproduce three 15-page segments of "Mein Kampf" with critical commentary may violate the copyright on the book, which it holds. (AP Photo/ Huntington Library, File)

Excerpts from Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" will be republished and sold in Germany in a series of pamphlets produced by British publisher Peter McGee, prompting some Jewish groups to denounce the partial reprint.

McGee plans to print sections of the dictator's work alongside commentaries from historians in his weekly magazine to allow people to gain better insight into Hitler's controversial text, Der Spiegel reports.

While "Mein Kampf" isn't banned in Germany, the Bavarian state government, which owns the copyright to the book until 2015, has not allowed the book to be published in its entirety, CNN reports.

At least two Jewish groups have mixed opinions regarding news of the partial reprint.

A representative from the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendents said the group wasn't sold on McGee's intentions.

"We want to make clear that there is nothing altruistic in the motivation of this publisher," Elan Steinberg, the group's vice-president, told CNN. "He's out to make a profit."

Dieter Graumann, speaking on behalf of Germany's Central Council of Jews, said he did not support the release of the text, but did say he would rather people read the text with the commentary than on a standalone basis.

"Anyone who plans to make profits with Hitler will certainly never have us on their side," Graumann told the Jerusalem Post. "In addition, no one should allow the kiosk to become a Nazi hotbed."

However, a German journalism professor and one of the book's contributing historians says it's time to get rid of the "taboo" often associated with "Mein Kampf."

"You can read this book around the world -- there is even a Hebrew translation in Israel," Horst Poettker told the SAPA wire service. "I think we should present it to as broad an audience as possible because it is the best way to learn what the National Socialists were thinking and what was so attractive about this ideology."

If publication remains on schedule, Jan. 26, 2012 will mark the first time a piece of "Mein Kampf" has been published in Germany since the end of World War II, CNN noted.

But the Bavarian government is doing its part to make sure that doesn't happen without consequences.

According to the Associated Press
, the Finance Ministry of the German state of Bavaria issued a statement calling McGee's citations too long to be protected under copyright law.

McGee previously created controversy in 2009 after reprinting the Nazi newspaper Volkischer Beobachter, whose copyrights also belong to the Bavarian government, Der Spiegel reports.

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