Czech police examining “Neo-Nazi bible” The Turner Diaries

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Police are currently investigating a new Czech translation of so-called “neo-Nazi bible” The Turner Diaries, a book said to have inspired the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and other acts of far-right violence. The book – which describes an Aryan revolution that leads to the extermination of the world’s non-white peoples - is banned in many European countries and Czech police must now decide whether it should be banned here too.

The Turner Diaries depicts a violent revolution in America which brings down the U.S. federal government and ultimately leads to the extermination of all the world’s Jews and non-white peoples, leaving a global all-white population of fifty million. It all sounds very exciting, but apparently it’s very badly written and a rather tedious read.

It was penned by the late American white supremacist William Luther Pierce, and published in 1978 under the pseudonym ‘Andrew Macdonald’. It was originally available only by mail order and at gun shows in the U.S., but is now freely available in the States, not just from white supremacist websites but also from online bookstores such as Amazon.com (and, evidently, Amazon.co.uk).

However, The Turner Diaries is banned in most European countries – neighbouring Germany and Austria for example – and so Czech police are now examining whether this new Czech edition should be banned under the country’s race hate laws.

This first Czech edition of the book was published by a company called Kontingent. A representative of the firm, Lukáš Jirotka, was quoted in Lidové Noviny newspaper admitting that Kontingent was established in April with the express purpose of publishing the Turner Diaries in Czech.

But Mr Jirotka denies the firm wanted to promote neo-Nazi ideology, which is a crime in the Czech Republic. He says the publisher wanted to warn society of the dangers posed by neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups, claiming that if everyone read the book there would be a great groundswell of outraged opposition to neo-Nazism.

His true motives, however, might be more prosaic. The Czech edition had an initial print run of 5000 copies, and it could soon sell out. One big bookstore on Wenceslas Square is reporting sales of 15-20 copies a day, which is a substantial figure. We saw in the previous case – when a new Czech edition of Mein Kampf came out a few years – just how profitable these controversial books can be for the companies that test the limits of freedom of speech by publishing them.