Owning a copy of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf, even a rare signed one, does not necessarily indicate a sympathy for Nazi ideology.

People with an interest in that period of history may own memorabilia from it. They might also have items associated with Winston Churchill or Josef Stalin. That does not mean they are communists or subscribe to a conservatism associated with those born into the British aristocracy.

Kim Dotcom says he is merely one of those collectors.

"Let me make it absolutely clear, I'm not buying into the Nazi ideology. I'm totally against what the Nazis did," he said this week when admitting he owned the book.


His purchase of it and memorabilia associated with Stalin and Churchill was, he implied, done with an eye on resale value.

"In another 100 years, that book will probably go up in value times 10."

Maybe so, but that does not let Mr Dotcom totally off the hook.

The ownership of such books may be a harmless hobby for those out of the public light.

But it can never be so when the owner is putting himself forward as a public figure, as Mr Dotcom did in launching the Internet Party the day after the Mein Kampf revelation.

In that circumstance, possession of the book can never be anything other than unwise, given it is so closely associated with the Holocaust.

When the owner is, to boot, a German national, it raises real issues about his very state of awareness.