I understand why Germany takes such a hard line against any expression of Naziism but it really does strike me as counterproductive for Bavaria to prevent the publication of Mein Kampf. It’s a horrible little book, but it’s an extremely important historical source. I can’t imagine feeling free in a country where I couldn’t go get a copy of Mein Kampf on short notice.

The copyright on Mein Kampf, the manifesto by Adolf Hitler published in the 1920s, will expire in 2015. The book is currently banned in Germany, but the Bavarian Finance Ministry, which owns the copyright, last year announced it would allow the publication of an edition annotated by the institute.

The state announced Tuesday it will take legal measures to stop the publication. Charlotte Knobloch, the former head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, praised the decision.

Censorship is not the answer.