Mein Kampf publisher sentenced

12-12-2000

The publisher of a new Czech edition of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf, Michal Zitko, was given a 3-year suspended sentence and fined two million crowns by a district court in Prague on Monday. The Czech translation, published in March, differs from other editions because it doesn't contain any commentary to a text which served as the ideological foundation of the Nazi movement and will be forever associated with World War II and the Holocaust. That is one of the main reasons why Mr Zitek was taken to court in the first place: by publishing Hitler's manifesto he was accused of supporting and spreading fascist ideas. The case has been widely discussed, with some saying that in view of recent skinhead and other racist attacks against minorities, publications like Mein Kampf were dangerous. Others say that the trial was a breach of the freedom of speech. RP's Olga Szantova asked commentator Vaclav Zak what he thought of the court's ruling: