An­no­tated Mein Kampf sells out in Ger­many

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY TOBY AX­EL­ROD

THE NEW, an­no­tated edi­tion of Hitler’s Mein Kampf, re­leased to book­stores last Fri­day, sold out the very same day.

The pub­lisher, Mu­nich’s In­sti­tute for Con­tem­po­rary His­tory, told the JC it had pub­lished 4,000 copies of the two-vol­ume edi­tion, but that the book could be reprinted on de­mand.

That de­mand was ap­par­ently great. Ac­cord­ing to Ger­man re­ports, the crit­i­cal edi­tion, with more than 3,500 foot­notes added by his­to­ri­ans, was sold out even be­fore it hit the stores. But some book­sell­ers are re­fus­ing on prin­ci­ple to dis­play the hate-filled man­i­festo, which has been banned in Ger­many since 1945.

The ban was lifted on Jan­uary 1 with the ex­pi­ra­tion of the copy­right, which was in­her­ited by the state of Bavaria. The state orig­i­nally in­tended to fund the an­no­tated edi­tion in or­der to pre­empt a flood of un­crit­i­cal pub­li­ca­tions, but with­drew its sup­port in 2012 af­ter Holo­caust sur­vivors crit­i­cised the plan as in­sult­ing.

The in­sti­tute con­tin­ued its re­search on its own, and de­fended the pub­li­ca­tion as a step to­wards de­mys­ti­fy­ing the fig­ure of Hitler and ed­u­cat­ing a new gen­er­a­tion about the roots of Hitler’s racist ide­ol­ogy in Ger­man his­tory and tra­di­tion.

Ron­ald S Lauder, pres­i­dent of the World Jewish Congress, said that the book “should be left in the poi­son cab­i­net of his­tory”. But the head of the Cen­tral Coun­cil of Jews in Ger­many, Josef Schus­ter, said he hoped the pub­li­ca­tion would “help com­bat an­tisemitism”.

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