Reissuing of Mein Kampf in Germany Provokes Outrage

February 26, 2015  

Adolg Hitler’s anti-Semitic manifesto Mein Kampf  (My Struggle) is returning to German bookshelves in early 2016, sparking public and political outrage across the country. 

For 70 years, the State of Bavaria in Germany owned the copyright of the book. While original copies were still allowed to be sold, reprinting the book has been banned in the country since the end of World War II. 

However, at the end of December, Bavaria’s ownership will expire, and the Munich-based Institute of Contemporary History announced it will print and sell new copies of the book. 

Opposition, mainly from Jewish groups and Holocaust survivors, has been very vocal, particularly as the reissuing comes during a time of renewed anti-Semitism across Europe. 

The institute’s deputy director, Magnus Brechtken, told the Washington Post, “I understand some immediately feel uncomfortable when a book that played such a dramatic role is made available again to the public.” 

“On the other hand, I think that this is also a useful way of communicating historical education and enlightenment – a publication with the appropriate comments, exactly to prevent these traumatic events from ever happening again.”

In contrast, many organization in Germany and abroad condemned the decision to reprint the book filled with the Nazi leader’s anti-Semitic spewings. 

“This book is too dangerous for the general public,” warned Florian Sepp, a historian for the Bavarian State Library, where the original copy of Mein Kampf  is held. 

“I am absolutely against the publication of Mein Kampf,” said Levi Salomon, spokesman for the Berlin-based Jewish Forum for Democracy and Against anti-Semitism. “This book is outside of human logic.”

According to reports, the new version will be a 2000-page volume, filled with annotations and analysis of the original text, penned by Hitler in a Bavarian jail after a failed Nazi uprising in 1923. 

Charlotte Knobloch, head of the Jewish community in Munich, said her opposition to the reprinting has grown tremendously after hearing Holocaust survivors’ outrage. 

“The book is most evil; it is the worst anti-Semitic pamphlet and a guidebook for the Holocaust,” she stressed. 

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