• Switzerland edition
 
Fury over Mein Kampf in Swiss bookshops

Fury over Mein Kampf in Swiss bookshops

Published: 11 Apr 2012 11:41 GMT+02:00
Updated: 11 Apr 2012 10:59 GMT+02:00

Anti-racism groups have expressed indignation that Hitler’s book, “Mein Kampf” (“My Struggle”) is freely available in bookstores in the Swiss region of Romandie.

“How can the works on the origin of the Holocaust, written by the instigator of the worst horrors, be found on bookstore shelves?” asked lawyer and Geneva President of the League against Racism and Anti-Semitism, Philippe Kenel.

Yet according to booksellers, there is still demand for the controversial book, which was written by the Nazi leader in the 1920s, before his rise to power. Unlike in Germany, the book is not banned from sale in Switzerland.

“Last year we sold more than 30,” bookseller Frederic Greffet told online news site Le Matin.

“The book is available in any case, whether on order or in stock,” Greffet said. “Customers were asking us regularly. It does not change much whether it is seen or not."

The director of bookshop Payot, Pascal Vandenberghe, said he believed it should be up to the reader to make his or her mind up about its contents and pointed out that there is an eight-page warning at the beginning.

“The duty of the bookseller is not to censor or spread propaganda,” said shop owner, Françoise Berclaz. “This book is part of history. How can we judge and form an opinion on what happened if we do not have access to it? "

A Parisian-based company called New Editions Latina holds the exclusive rights to the French translation, and is reported to have links with the nationalist right. This has led one Geneva bookshop owner, Damien Malfait, to encourage customers not to buy the French version.

“I'm not for censorship, but I inform them that this money will be used for right-wing ideological purposes,” he said.

Lyssandra Sears (news@thelocal.ch)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

2012-04-19 04:19:48 by pfalzfreund
The only way to understand radicals is to read what they have written. After reading Mein Kampf I am convinced that those who followed Hitler were seriously impaired or deluded. Those who would follow him today after reading history are just plain sick. When a book is banned it gains power as something of which the State is afraid. Publish, analyze, expose. These are the weapons that will defeat extremists.
2012-04-14 19:32:58 by Garryladouceur
The book does promote a perverse ideology. I use here the law as an example and perhaps reflect on the reason why it is banned in Austria for example. The law (§ 3 d.) states that, "Whoever publicly or before several people, through the printing of disseminated writings or illustrations to one of under § 1 or § 3 prohibited acts requests, strives or seeks to induce others, especially for the purpose of glorifying or advertising the aims of the Nazi Party, its institutions or measures, provided that it does not constitute a serious criminal offense, will be punished with imprisonment from five to ten years, or up to twenty years for offenders who themselves or their actions are deemed especially dangerous." It is logical to suggest, that since this book provides material support to an extreme group of the right, it has an underlying value that is supportive of anti swiss sentiment. The state of Bavaria has in fact purchased the rights to this book to prevent it from legal sale. The book is also available via the internet for free. I suggest, that if you must read this and without attempting to promote piracy, you might find a copy on the internet, to assist your studies so to speak. I am sure that as a decent person you do not wish to support the ends of a racist group. and if you do, well you have photos of adolf pinned on your wall and there is not much logic can do to disuade you. There are many books that are banned in Switzerland. Perhaps not in bookstores, however in any Catholic environment. I am thinking of the thousands of books banned by the Vatican where its influence is law to catholics.
2012-04-12 15:05:49 by fredch
I read it years ago. About as interesting as watching grass grow. Banning and burning books was the Nazi way, so why do that now?
2012-04-11 16:22:32 by smeghead
It's a book, I read it mayn years ago, and i am still not a racist or anti-Semitism when a book is banned it then sells like music etc etc
2012-04-11 14:40:39 by DavidtheNorseman
Ever read it? I did and that fellow Hitler is nuttier than a fruitbar in his own words (I read it at the same time as Ho Chi Minh and Marx - all nutters, though Minh at least was mostly a Vietnamese first and ideologue second by my read). I fail to see how Mein Kampf could possibly help the extreme right but maybe my Norse-Scots perspective just doesn't connect. Mein Kampf starts by identifying societal ills and then takes a wild turn and goes crazy as to the source of those ills ("Sin" is too close to home a concept, I guess for these folks..).
Today's headlines
Geneva lawyer named US ambassador to Finland
Charles C. Adams Jr. Photo: Paul Ronga

Geneva lawyer named US ambassador to Finland

President Barack Obama has named Charles C. Adams Jr., a prominent American lawyer and Democratic Party supporter living in Geneva, as US ambassador to Finland. READ  

Strong franc dents Swatch first-half profits
Photo: Swatch

Strong franc dents Swatch first-half profits

Swatch, the world’s biggest watch company, recorded lower profits for the first six months of 2014 compared to the same period a year earlier, as the strong Swiss franc took its toll. READ  

Tax evasion fine soaks Credit Suisse in red ink
Photo: AFP

Tax evasion fine soaks Credit Suisse in red ink

Credit Suisse, Switzerland's second-largest bank, posted an unexpectedly big net second-quarter loss on Tuesday as a huge US tax evasion fine sent it deep into the red. READ  

Nyon's Paléo music festival off to muddy start
Elton John is set to make his first appearance at the Paléo festival. Photo: AFP

Nyon's Paléo music festival off to muddy start

The 39th Paléo music festival, getting under way on Tuesday in Nyon in the canton of Vaud, is struggling with muddy grounds after heavy rain. READ  

Troicki returns from ban with Swiss Open win
Viktor Troicki playing at Wimbledon last year. Photo: Adrian Dennis/AFP

Troicki returns from ban with Swiss Open win

Viktor Troicki made the most of his return to tennis after serving a one-year ban as the Serb defeated Austria's Dominic Thiem 7-6 (7/4), 6-4 on Monday to reach the second round of the Swiss Open in Gstaad. READ  

Police seek witnesses in Vevey stabbing death
Vevey: residents stunned by stabbing death. Photo: Switzerland Tourism

Police seek witnesses in Vevey stabbing death

Vaud cantonal police were seeking witnesses after a 32-year-old man was stabbed to death in Vevey on Monday. READ  

Bern football player's own goal goes global
Photo: YouTube/Screenshot

Bern football player's own goal goes global

Milan Gajic, a player for the Bern football team Young Boys, is facing the embarrassment of a lifetime after a video of his own goal over the weekend went viral on the internet. READ  

Julius Bär faces US penalty over tax evasion
Photo: Sporst

Julius Bär faces US penalty over tax evasion

Julius Bär said on Monday it expects to strike a deal with American authorities over a probe into the Swiss bank's role in helping Americans evade taxes by the end of the year. READ  

ABB and Volvo team up for rechargeable buses
Prototype of the bus tested by Geneva transit company TPG. Photo: ABB

ABB and Volvo team up for rechargeable buses

Electric buses which can recharge their batteries fast when at bus stops are to be developed by Swiss-Swedish engineering group ABB and Volvo Buses of Sweden, ABB said on Monday. READ  

Questions linger over abducted teen's murder
View of Belmont-sur-Lausanne. Photo: Sissssou/Wikimedia Commons

Questions linger over abducted teen's murder

An investigation is continuing into the kidnapping and murder of a 14-year-old girl by a 30-year-old man who is believed to have committed suicide in woods east of Lausanne. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sport
Video of Bern football player's spectacular own goal goes global
National
Roger Federer and Lindsey Vonn play tennis at Jungfraujoch (VIDEOS)
Business & Money
Competition commission launches probe into Swiss car leasing 'fiddle'
Health
Down's syndrome cases in Switzerland more than double
National
American family files hefty lawsuit over deadly Swiss balloon crash
Features
Graubünden's panoramic Bernina Express celebrates rail history
National
Study rates Zurich as world's fifth most expensive city for expats
National
Swiss-based human brain project directors hit back at research critics
Business & Money
Switzerland gets the edge on EU with China free trade agreement
National
Entries for new Swiss national anthem competition swell over 200
National
Zurich-based helicopter firm denies role in Schumacher medical leak
Culture
Montreux Jazz Festival debuts live internet streaming of concerts
Features
Tour of Bern’s historic fountains tells story of Switzerland's capital
National
Swiss media lament football team's 'cruel' and 'bitter' defeat
International
The Local expands its reach with the launch of new website in Denmark
Sport
Jubilant press hails hat-trick hero Shaqiri as 'Swiss Messi'
National
New website study reveals inequality in Swiss disposable income
Travel
Switzerland’s largest ski area 4-Vallées breaks up over lift dispute
National
VIDEO: Zurich Zoo launches contest to name newborn baby elephant
Business & Money
CEO-to-worker pay gap grows at biggest Swiss firms: union study
Culture
VIDEO: Swiss performance artist plans naked stroll at Art Basel
National
Zurich's new rail line and underground station open 'without a hitch'
Sport
Formula One legend Schumacher faces life as invalid: Swiss specialist
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,166
jobs available