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German authorities launched legal action yesterday against a British publisher who reprinted and sold a Nazi newspaper featuring fiery remarks by Adolf Hitler's propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels.
The paper - the Voelkischer Beobachter (People's Observer), from March 1, 1933 - is the second in a series of Nazi-era newspapers republished in annotated facsimiles that has sparked a row in Germany over press freedom.
The latest edition in the series hit German newsstands early yesterday, with a photograph on the front page of the Reichstag parliament building in flames, seen as a pivotal moment in the rise to power of the Nazis.
The fire was used by Hitler - who had been sworn in as chancellor four weeks earlier - to "prove" that Communists were hatching a plot against the German government and justify a swift crackdown.
"Murder, terror, fire and destruction: these are the terrible things this fanatical party (the Communists) leaves behind it," Goebbels writes in the commentary on the first page.
"We've had enough," cries the headline. "Now we're going to take ruthless and dramatic measures."
Bavaria's finance ministry, which holds the rights to all publications from the main Nazi publishing house, said in a statement it would seek to press charges against the publisher, Peter McGee, for copyright infringement.
In addition, the ministry said it would lodge a civil action to stop future papers being published.
On January 16, the ministry issued an order banning any further publication of Nazi material, but the publishers ignored the instruction.