Kim Dotcom’s political aspirations have taken a hit after he admitted owning a rare piece of Nazi memorabilia, a signed copy of Hitler's autobiographical manifesto, Mein Kampf (My Struggle).
Speaking on 3 News, the German born internet entrepreneur said it was among several rare pieces of rare World War II memorabilia he had bought. Other items in his collection include a cigar holder that once belonged to British leader Winston Churchill and a pen that belonged to Soviet leader Josef Stalin.
He rejected suggestions it made him a Nazi sympathiser - but right wing blog Whaleoil last night quoted a friend, Alex Mardikian, saying Hitler was Dotcom’s ‘‘idol’’.
‘‘It’s not so much the book but more the fact of his awe and the powertrip of it all,’’ Mardikian told Whaleoil.
Dotcom is fighting extradition from New Zealand over copyright charges bought by the United States Government. While he cannot stand for Parliament he is funding a new party, The Internet Party.
His party has been in talks with Hone Harawira's Mana Party about an electoral deal that would help it get into Parliament.
Asked about Mardikian’s claims, Internet Party spokesman John Mitchell said he had no response.
The Internet Party is set to launch a membership drive today with an event at Dotcom’s Coatesville mansion.
Dotcom told 3 News he bought the book because he was a fan of World War II games and memorabilia.
"Look, I'm a Call of Duty player, right. So if you know the game Call of Duty, it's all about World War II, how you play it ... and I'm a big fan of that. I've bought memorabilia from Churchill, from Stalin, from Hitler."
But he did not support Hitler’s views.
"Let me make absolutely clear, OK. I'm not buying into the Nazi ideology. I'm totally against what the Nazis did."
Sales of Mein Kampf are illegal in some countries, including Germany.
A spokeswoman for John Key, whose mother Ruth was an Austrian Jew, said the prime minister had just boarded a plane back from Europe and could not comment.
He arrives back in New Zealand tomorrow.
According to news reports, the copy in Dotcom's possession was sold for £21,000 in 2009.
A recent copy of Mein Kampf sold for US$64,850 (NZ$75,500).
In a statement, Dotcom claimed the attack on him had come from the ‘‘Key machine’’, a reference to the Government.
“The Whaleoil piece, timed as it was to coincide with the call for members for the Internet Party, demonstrates the bad faith and fear of the Key machine.
“I am a big fan of the gaming franchise Call of Duty, early instalments of which are set during World War II, and at one point I bought Josef Stalin’s pen, Winston Churchill’s cigar-holder and a copy of Mein Kampf signed by Adolf Hitler.
“This was my motivation for the purchase. If this abject lie of Whaleoil is not enough to demonstrate the fictional nature of the recent attacks on me, nothing is.”
- Fairfax Media
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