Should Hitler’s autobiography be back in print?

Central Council of Jews backs proposal to republish Mein Kampf


Hitler’s anti-Semitic autobiography has been illegal in Germany since 1945, but now the country’s leading Jewish group, the Central Council of Jews, has taken the unprecedented step of backing a proposal to republish it. Stephan Kramer, the general secretary, supports a new scholarly edition of the work designed to inform future generations of the evils of Nazism. “It makes sense and is important to publish an edition of Mein Kampf with an academic commentary,” Kramer said. However the southern state of Bavaria, which holds the rights to the book, remains strongly opposed to the idea. “We won’t lift the ban as it may play straight into the hands of the far right,” said a spokesman for the Bavarian government. Other Jewish organizations and several German academics, including the historian Jürgen Faulenbach, also oppose republishing the work and insist that it does little to throw light on the Nazi era. But Bavaria’s rights over the book are due to expire in 2015. In an attempt to forestall any new legal ban on the book after that, Munich’s Institute for Contemporary History applied this week for permission to reprint the work in 2016. It aims to produce an edition containing scholarly footnotes challenging most of Hitler’s assertions. “A scientific edition would help to dispel the peculiar myths surrounding this book,” said Horst Möller, the Institute’s director. And British historian and acclaimed Hitler biographer Sir Ian Kershaw noted that attempts to ban Mein Kampf were a waste of time in the Internet age. Kramer agrees: “It is all the more important that young people should see the critical version when they click on to Mein Kampf on the web.”

The Independent

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Should Hitler’s autobiography be back in print?

  1. Anything for a dollar.

    • What an idiotic comment. It says right in the piece that in the age of the internet Hitler's tome-full-o-crazy is readily available anyhow. An annotated version would be a useful rebuttal to the hate sites on the net that glorify him or try to legitimize the assertions he made.

  2. You can't fight ideas by refusing to publish them. You have to let them be published, and then show people why the ideas are bad.

    Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

  3. You can't fight bad ideas by refusing to publish them. You have to let them be published, and then show people why the ideas are bad.

    Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

  4. so wrong for any country to stop people from reading anything that they wish

  5. Censorship is never the answer. Although this is undeniably hate speech, it is through open discussion that such things become "boycotted". People on the far right will always find what they want and will believe what they want, no matter what. By censoring this work simply to prevent the far right from getting their hands on it, we are putting them in the spotlight. Publish it and lets have open discussion about WHY his ideas are wrong.

  6. Censorship causes more trouble than it purports to prevent. Just look at North Korea, extreme censorship in action. That's a problem the whole world will inevitably have to deal with, not least the Korean people themselves.
    Here in Ireland, my parents and grandparents grew up in a heavily censored country, this generation is already having to deal with the fallout.
    Control of a people controls nothing eventually.