International Jewish leaders on Monday urged German book sellers and publishers to continue blocking the dissemination of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf after a ban on the controversial text expires in 2015.

wpid-books.jpgAt a meeting in Berlin, board members of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) unanimously agreed that the memoir’s sale in book shops offends Holocaust survivors, welcoming a recent proposal by German officials to uphold a ban on the text.

“Mein Kampf continues to be a tool of incitement for neo-Nazi and other racial bigotry-oriented groups and individuals throughout the world,” WJC leaders said in a statement, adding that Germany has a special responsibility towards victims of Nazi crimes.

The resolution – one of several during the meeting – is an official policy guideline for the WJC, which represents Jewish communities in 100 countries across six continents.

Germany’s southern state of Bavaria has controlled the copyright of Mein Kampf since it impounded Hitler’s legal estate after his suicide in 1945. Bavaria’s ownership of the book allows authorities to use simple provisions of copyright law to block reprinting.

But copyright in Germany expires 70 years after the author’s death, meaning that the Nazi dictator’s memoir is set to enter the public domain at the end of 2015.

German state interior ministers in June vowed to prosecute anyone who tries to reprint and sell the memoir after it enters the public domain.

Hitler wrote the two-volume book in 1924 in Landsberg Prison, spelling out his hatred of Jews and his theory of the Aryan master race.

Before the Berlin vote, resolutions committee chair Moshe Ronen showed board members a photo of anti-Semitic vandalism – a sign spray-painted with the words “Jews Out” in German – taken moments earlier in Berlin’s Tiergarten park.

Germany has struggled for seven decades to eradicate every trace of Nazism and keeps close tabs on active neo-Nazis. Owning and treasuring Mein Kampf was a mark of devotion to the Nazi cause during World War II.



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