“I am absolutely against the publication of Mein Kampf, even with annotations. Can you annotate the Devil? Can you annotate a person like Hitler?”
Hitler’s blueprint for the Holocaust, Mein Kampf, will soon be available for sale in Germany. The taxpayer-funded Institute for Contemporary History will issue a heavily annotated, 2,000 page edition of the work. Publishing the book has been banned in Germany since World War II, and Jewish community leaders are outraged.
Mein Kampf was written as an autobiography by Hitler during the time he spent imprisoned for the failed 1923 Beer House Putsch in Munich, in which he led an attempt overthrow the government. The book outlined his visions for a new Germany, including the end of the democratic system, the conquering of lands to the east (Lebensraum), the persecution of Jews and Communists, and the killing of the sick and the weak. During Hitler’s rule, three editions of the book were published: a standard edition; an edition given by certain cities as a gift to marrying couples, and an edition to be sent with soldiers to the front.
Germany has banned publication of Mein Kampf since the end of World War II under laws prohibiting the promotion of Nazi ideology. The copyright is held until later this year by the Bavarian government, which does not support the new edition. However, the Institute for Contemporary History insists that the publication will be invaluable both in encouraging historical understanding and in preempting uncritical editions by neo-Nazis. “We hope to prevent neo-Nazi publications by putting out a commented, scholarly edition before that,” historian Edith Raum told the New York Times in 2010.
The Jewish community remains split on the issue, with many Holocaust survivors opposing the publication, especially in light of the current wave of anti-Semitism in Europe. “This book is most evil; it is the worst anti-Semitic pamphlet and a guidebook for the Holocaust,” Charlotte Knobloch, head of the Jewish community in Munich, told the Washington Post.
“I am absolutely against the publication of Mein Kampf, even with annotations. Can you annotate the Devil? Can you annotate a person like Hitler?” said Levi Salomon, spokesman for the Berlin-based Jewish Forum for Democracy and Against Anti-Semitism. “This book is outside of human logic.”
By World Israel News Staff