Annotated Mein Kampf sells out in Germany
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”.