Goebbels Royalties Ruling Angers Historians

July 14, 2015

Historians are reacting with outrage to the ruling of a German court that the estate of Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi minister of propaganda, may claim royalties on excerpts from his diaries in a new scholarly biography, Times Higher Education reported. The suit itself raised concern from many scholars, who have assumed they could quote freely from diaries of long-dead Nazis. “It’s quite shocking,” said Neil Gregor, professor of history at the University of Southampton, “that these diaries … are being used, effectively, to profit so shamelessly from one of the chief culprits of Nazi genocide.” The suit involved Goebbels, by Peter Longerich, professor of modern German history at Royal Holloway of the University of London. Random House Germany, Longerich's publisher, is planning an appeal to the German Supreme Court.

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