01:56 GMT +320 November 2019
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    One of two rare copies of Mein Kampf signed by the young Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and due for auction, photographed in Los Angeles, California

    Mein Kampf to Hit Germany’s Bookstore Shelves for the First Time Since WWII

    © AFP 2019 / Frederic J. BROWN
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    A new edition of Hitler’s manifesto to be published in Germany for the first time since the end of the Second World War is met with mixed feelings.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    “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.”

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    Tags:
    Nazi Germany, Nazi, publication, publishing, book, Mein Kampf, German Institute for Contemporary History (IFZ), Adolf Hitler, Munich, Germany
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