The two-volume, 2000-page academic edition prepared by the Munich-based Institute for Contemporary History (IFZ) is to appear on bookstore shelves across Germany after the New Year. The first post-WWII critical edition in German will follow the termination of Adolf Hitler’s copyright, which according to German law expires at the end of 2015, 70 years after the Naxi leader’s death.
Anyone who's read #MeinKampf will know that it's so boring that you get stuck after page 100 and thoughts of suicide start to visit you.— Alexander Nekrassov (@StirringTrouble) December 2, 2015
The book, which will contain more than 3,500 scientific annotations and extensive explanatory introductions to each chapter, is set to be presented by the publisher on December 31.
“It seeks to thoroughly deconstruct Hitler’s propaganda in a lasting manner and thus to undermine the still effective symbolic power of the book. In this way, it also makes it possible to counter an ideological-propagandistic and commercial misuse of Mein Kampf,” an online statement by IFZ reads.
Written in 1923, the programmatic text of National Socialism has been translated into dozens of languages. Since 1945, however, there have been no new editions of Mein Kampf in German, although earlier copies of the manifesto have circulated worldwide and the book is available online.
Said I wanted Mein Kampf for Christmas as a joke and mum went on Amazon to buy it. No gwenan, I don't actually want Hitler's autobiography..— Elen (@ElenLewis22) November 26, 2015
The 6-year publishing project was discussed extensively with historians worldwide, including those at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, and the idea of a new critical edition of the famous book was generally approved.
However, some Jewish organizations accept the publication only with caution.
“There is a great danger that Mein Kampf will increasingly be circulated on the market after the expiry of the copyright,” Josef Schuster, president of the German Council of Jews, told the Financial Times.
Mein Kampf is set to be re-published, although is still expected to be marginally less right wing than most Facebook posts about refugees.— James Martin (@Pundamentalism) December 2, 2015
“Nevertheless, knowledge of Mein Kampf continues to be important in order to explain National Socialism and the Shoah [Holocaust]. Therefore we do not object to a critical edition, contrasting Hitler’s racial theories with scientific findings, to be at the disposal of research and teaching.”