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Bavaria claims copyright on Nazi media

Jan. 23, 2009 at 6:12 PM

MUNICH, Germany, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- The German state of Bavaria plans to sue a British publisher for copyright infringement for reprinting Nazi-era newspapers.

The state finance ministry announced Thursday that it holds the rights to the entire production of the major Nazi publishing house, Deutsche Welle reports.

Peter McGee plans to publish 150 of his "Zeitungszeugen," a coined word meaning "newspaper witness," combining reprints of a selection of newspapers from a single day with commentary. While he has been given a dispensation from German laws barring distribution of Nazi literature and believes the project is educational, critics say the newspapers are likely to attract neo-Nazis.

"This is not what serious political education looks like," Stephan Kramer, the general secretary of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said in a statement.

The council backed the Bavarian government, saying that buyers do not have to read the commentary.

The first edition of the publication included Nazi, conservative and Communist newspapers when Hitler became chancellor. The second, released Thursday, covered the Reichstag fire in 1933, including a commentary by Joseph Goebbels. Under the headline "We've had enough," Adolf Hitler's propaganda chief blames the fire on the Communists and promises "ruthless and dramatic measures."

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