Goebbels' Estate Sues Random House for Using Diary Extracts Without Paying

The company went back on an agreement to pay one percent of net retail price of a new biography of Hitler's propaganda minister for using extensive quotes from his diary.

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In this 1938 file photo, Nazi propaganda minister Dr. Joseph Goebbels speaks to members of the National Socialist party.
In this 1938 file photo, Nazi propaganda minister Dr. Joseph Goebbels speaks to members of the National Socialist party.Credit: AP

Joseph Goebbels' estate is suing publishing company Random House for using extracts of his diaries in a biography without paying a fee.

The diaries of the Nazi propaganda minister are subject to copyright until the end of the year.

Random House originally agreed to pay one percent of the net retail price of the book to the estate for the right to use the extracts. The company went back on the agreement, however, saying that it was wrong to pay a Nazi war criminal's estate, the BBC reported.

Currently, the copyright is held by one Cordula Schacht. Shcacht's father, Hajmar Schacht, was a minister in the Nazi government, who was put on trial and aquitted at the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal. Random House is not the first publisher to be asked, or to have agreed, to pay royalties for use of the diaries.

The biography written by Peter Longerich came out in Germany in 2010, and is coming out in English in May.

The day after Hitler committed suicide in May 1945, Goebbels and his wife Magda committed suicide too, after poisoning their six children in their sleep.

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