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German prosecutors have decided they won’t take legal action against U.S.-based Yahoo over online auctions of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf,” a spokesman said Thursday. Distribution of the Nazi leader’s demagogic manifesto is banned in Germany. Manfred Wick of the state prosecutor’s office in Munich said Yahoo could not be charged with incitement to racial hatred, because the Internet giant is the provider rather than the person directly offering the service. Yahoo could have been charged only if it had been fully aware of the content of the online offer and been able to prevent it, Wick said. He said that was not the case. Germany has strict laws against the dissemination of Nazi memorabilia material, and the easy availability of such information via the Internet has vexed leaders and judges. Last November, the Internet bookseller Amazon.com responded to Berlin government complaints by deciding to stop shipping “Mein Kampf” to customers in Germany. In January, Yahoo removed thousands of hate items from its online auctions. It insisted the move was unrelated to a November court ruling in Paris requiring it to block French users from such auctions.

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