"Mein Kampf" seller goes unpunished despite ban

The Amsterdam gallery owner who sold a few antiquarian copies of Adolf Hitler's infamous book Mein Kampf, will not be punished.

That was the ruling of the Court in Amsterdam on Friday on the case against the owner of the Totalitarian Art Gallery in Amsterdam. He will however, not get the copy back that the police confiscated earlier. The Public Prosecutor did demand a fine of 1,000 euro, half of which is conditional.

The court agrees with Justice that the controversial book still contains statements that are offensive to Jews, and that it incites hatred, discrimination and violence against Jews. It remains illegal to sell copies of Mein Kampf in the Netherlands.

The gallery owner, Michiel van Eyck (52), and his lawyer, Gerard Spong, find the ban outdated. Anyone can buy or download a copy of the book on the internet. Mein Kampf is also freely available in many other countries. Van Eyck also stated that only historians and collectors bought the book.

In the light of these "social developments", the court thinks that a conviction is going too far.

The Federation Jewish Netherlands filed a report against the art gallery late last year. Van Eyck was questioned by the police in January.