Mein Kampf, Adolph Hitler’s demonically anti-Semitic book, will be reprinted in Germany and sold in German bookstores all over Europe — thanks to the expiration of the German copyright held by the state of Bavaria.
Although the new edition is supposed to be copiously annotated, its message of virulent anti-Semitism frightens many, especially since Europe has seen a recent surge of vehement anti-Semitic activity from Muslim immigrants. English and other foreign-language versions of “Mein Kampf” have seen their sales increase; Hindu nationalists have bought it in India; Japan has a comic-book version; the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party in Greece has it in its bookstores.
German taxpayers are funding the new edition because the Munich-based Institute of Contemporary History, a state historical society, is producing and publishing it. The society says that the book will be a useful academic tool.
Levi Salomon, spokesman for the Berlin-based Jewish Forum for Democracy and Against Anti-Semitism, said, “I am absolutely against the publication of ‘Mein Kampf,’ even with annotations. Can you annotate the Devil? Can you annotate a person like Hitler?”
Bavaria planned to give $575,000 to support the new edition, but reversed itself after the Bavarian governor visited Israel in 2012 and met with Holocaust survivors.
Bavaria ultimately decided to release the original grant to the historical society to use for other research, thus allowing the society to use other funds to publish the new edition. Bavarian officials claim the publication will be useful for the benefits it may bring to historical research.
Magnus Brechtken, the institute’s deputy director, said, “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.”
Hitler wrote “Mein Kampf” in a Bavarian jail after the failed Nazi uprising in Munich in November 1923. It was later published in two volumes in 1925 and 1926. Within its poisonous words was the statement that Jews were and “will remain the eternal parasite, a freeloader that, like a malignant bacterium, spreads rapidly whenever a fertile breeding ground is made available to it.”
He also wrote, “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”
And this: “With satanic joy in his face, the black-haired Jewish youth lurks in wait for the unsuspecting girl whom he defiles with his blood, thus stealing her from her people. With every means he tries to destroy the racial foundations of the people he has set out to subjugate. Just as he himself systematically ruins women and girls, he does not shrink back from pulling down the blood barriers for others, even on a large scale. It was and it is Jews who bring the Negroes into the Rhineland, always with the same secret thought and clear aim of ruining the hated white race by the necessarily resulting bastardization, throwing it down from its cultural and political height, and himself rising to be its master.”
Charlotte Knobloch, head of the Jewish community in Munich, denouncing the reprinting of the Nazi dictator’s book.
“This book is most evil; it is the worst anti-Semitic pamphlet and a guidebook for the Holocaust. It is a Pandora’s box that, once opened again, cannot be closed,” he said.