For the first time since Adolf Hitler’s death, Mein Kampf will be available for sale in German bookstores.
The book’s reissue is effectively being financed by German taxpayers, who fund the historical society that is producing and publishing the new edition. Rather than a how-to guidebook for the aspiring fascist, the new 2000-page reprint, the group said this month, will include annotations and criticism of the text. The first print run will begin early next year.
Still, opponents are aghast, in part because the book is coming out at a time of rising Antisemitism in Europe and as the English and other foreign-language versions of “Mein Kampf” — unhindered by the German copyrights — are in the midst of a global renaissance.
Although authorities in Germany struck deals with online sellers such as Amazon.com to prohibit sales, new copies of “Mein Kampf” have become widely available via the Internet around the globe. In retail stores in India, it is enjoying strong popularity as a self-help book for Hindu nationalists. A comic-book edition was issued in Japan. A new generation of aficionados is also rising among the surging ranks of the far right in Europe. The neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party in Greece, for instance, has stocked “Mein Kampf” at its bookstore in Athens.
Bavaria has held the German copyright to the book since the end of the war, but that copyright expires in December.
Many Holocaust survivors see the reprint as giving Hitler a new voice.
“I am absolutely against the publication of Mein Kampf, even with annotations. Can you annotate the Devil? Can you annotate a person like Hitler?” Levi Salomon, spokesman for the Jewish Forum for Democracy and Against Anti-Semitism in Berlin. “This book is outside of human logic.”
ASW cannot help but agree with Levi Saloman. The timing of this news is also spectacularly counter to any sound or reasoned logical thinking. Equally, the public funded nature of the reprint is a repugnant aspect that the German government and its people should quickly reconsider.
What do you think?