11:23 GMT +323 March 2017
    Different editions of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf are on display at the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich

    Hitler's Mein Kampf Becomes Surprise Bestseller in Germany

    © AP Photo/ Matthias Balk
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    Previously subject to a complete ban in Germany, Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf has sold 85,000 copies since a “critical version” of the semi-autobiographical book was released in January last year.

    A year on from the release of an annotated “critical edition” of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf, the book has become a surprise bestseller, Germany's Institute of Contemporary History (IfZ) said on Tuesday.

    “So far we have sold 85,000 books. The sixth edition will be released at the end of January. These figures have really overwhelmed us, nobody could have expected it,” the institute's director Andreas Wirsching told the Tagesspiegel newspaper.

    The book was published in two volumes and in April reached the top of German magazine Der Spiegel's non-fiction bestseller list.

    The Institute decided to produce the book after the copyright to Mein Kampf expired at the end of 2015. The copyright had been transferred by the Allies to the Free State of Bavaria at the end of World War Two, and the state government had used its powers to prevent any new printing of the work.

    Since the expiration of copyright, production of Mein Kampf remains prohibited by German laws on incitement. However, Wirsching said that the publishers of the critical edition have not faced any legal action. 

    He told the newspaper that it would have been “irresponsible” to produce an  unannotated version of the book, an idea which has been expressed by one other publisher.

    “The right-wing Schelm-Verlag publishing house in Leipzig announced plans in mid-2016 to print Mein Kampf 'without the annoying comments of do-gooders.' We are not aware of any further projects of this kind,” Wirsching said.

    Adolf Hitler wrote Mein Kampf, which means “My Struggle,” between 1924 and 1926, during which time he served a nine-month prison sentence following the failed Beer Hall Putsch in Munich. 

    In Mein Kampf Hitler wrote a semi-autobiographical account of his life and and outlined the manifesto of his party, which had been temporarily banned following the failed putsch. 

    The book represents the basis of Nazi ideology, including anti-Semitism, ideas of German racial superiority and the concept of Lebensraum (living space), the idea that Germans needed more space and should take that space from eastern Europe, and particularly Russia.

    Last month it was reported that Mein Kampf has gained popularity with Italian schoolchildren, according to a recent nationwide survey. The poll found that the book was among the top ten favorite books selected by children in ten Italian schools. Students wrote Mein Kampft among their responses despite the book being ineligible for the survey, which was supposed to include only Italian authors.

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    • avatar
      Nazism was collectivism and that is not of the political right.
    • Californian
      Why is anybody surprised?
    • avatar
      double bonus
      Is it really that hard to purchase a US [unannotated] edition
      of this book in Germany? Or is this just a language issue,
      with having the text written in the German language?
    • Amin von Elysion
      of course it is germany is lingering with nazis i mean the whole east is nazi hausen
    • Amin von Elysionin reply todouble bonus(Show commentHide comment)
      double bonus, mein kampf was banned and illegal but a year or a few years ago they legalized it
    • avatar
      double bonus
      But, you can have books shipped from the UK or DE amazon to the US.
      Can't you also have them shipped from the US amazon to Germany?
      Like amazon would care if a book was illegal or not?
      The very concept of an "illegal book" is anathema
      to most people in the US, isn't it?
    • avatar
      double bonus
      This just looks like a scam, though.
      Mein Kampf has always been available in the US and reading or
      possessing it doesn't carry any political meaning, whatsoever.
      It is more like reading a history book, than inspiring anything evil.

      These people in Germany charging such high prices for this book,
      seem to be trying to promote the views of the critics, and get people
      to pay top dollar for them, instead of anything about the book itself.
    • avatar
      Always been one of the all time best selling books in Arabic Countries once it was translated, it was never banned from Arabic Countries. It's probably not the Germans buying the book unfortunately, it's probably Merkles "guests"
    • Gary F.
      Let me have it wrong, but I guess the adult magazines sell more than any book. And the Germans love to do it together as well.. so...
    • Jonathan Fergusonin reply tojas(Show commentHide comment)
      jas, Depends on how you define it, I guess. 'left and right' mean different things.
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