Hitler´s "Mein Kampf" to be published in Germany for the first time since World War II (NEW YORK DAILY NEWS) BY ALEXANDER NAZARYAN / BLOG 04/25/12)
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In his infamous "Mein Kampf," Adolf Hitler calls freedom of the
press "this nuisance of unpunishable lying to, and poisoning of, the
people" before reassuring his readers with a disturbing thought that
would materialize, in all too frightening reality, roughly a decade
later: "A 30 cm. shell has always hissed more than a thousand Jewish
But now, the notorious summation of Hitler´s anti-Semitic philosophy
(translated roughly to "My Struggle") that was first published in
1925 will return to German presses for the first time since the end
of World War II, according to a report in Der Spiegel. Though the
book is not officially banned, no one has been allowed to print an
edition through the current copyright, which passed from the Nazi
publishing house Eher Verlag to the Bavarian Finance Ministry in
1945, at the war´s conclusion.
The decision to reprint Hitler´s work comes as that copyright is set
to expire in 2015. There are concerns that once anyone is free to
publish Hitler´s work, neo-Nazis will invariably churn out editions
favorable to the Nazi leader. Bavarian leaders hope that this "new
academic edition," as they are calling it, will eclipse any other
version. There will also be an audiobook, as well as an English
version (though such versions are already available in the United
States, if not in Germany itself).
Referring to the book´s "mystical" attraction to some people,
Bavarian Finance Minister Markus Soder said that "The expiration of
the copyright in three years´ time could lead to more young people
reading ´Mein Kamp,´" without necessarily understanding the ominous
context of Hitler´s words. The government of Bavaria hopes to defang
any attraction "Mein Kamp" may have by disseminating an edition that
is fully annotated. "By including commentaries on the text debunking
Hitler´s arguments, the state government hopes that readers will not
be seduced by the Nazi leader´s propaganda,´ says Der Spiegel.
This comes at a time when Germany is rediscovering its identity as a
leader in Europe. It has been at the forefront of the effort to quell
the debt crisis plaguing countries like Spain and Greece.
But that doesn´t mean the wounds of war are forgotten. When,
recently, Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere suggested that Germany
should hold a Veterans´ Day to honor the 300,000 soldiers who´ve
served in foreign conflicts since 1991, many objected, bringing up
concerns of what to do with any former Nazi soldiers who remain.
And just earlier this month, Nobel Prize winner for literature
Guenter Grass caused an international row when he published a poem
accusing Israel of plotting to destroy Iran.
Many quickly noted, and not injudiciously, that for someone who had
served in the Waffen SS, as Grass admittedly had, condemning the
Jewish state was not a good idea.
At the same time, right-wing groups have grown emboldened in Europe,
particularly as gripes about Turkish immigrants and other minorities
have grown. (Hitler in Bavaria / Photo by Roger Viollet via Getty
All this makes Bavaria´s decision to republish "Mein Kamp" more than
just a curious historical incident. It was here that Hitler had his
home at Berghof, right on the border with his native Austria. An
annotated 1941 edition of "Mein Kampf" calls Bavaria "the most
reactionary part of Germany."
Time will tell whether its decision to publish "Mein Kampf" is the
right one. (© Copyright 2012 NYDailyNews.com. 04/25/12)
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