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Germany prepares to publish Hitler's 'Mein Kampf' after 70 years

Hitler's "Mein Kampf"

Adolf Hitler's malevolent manifesto, "Mein Kampf," will be published in Germany again in 2015, 70 years after it last appeared there in print.

After World War II, publication of "Mein Kampf" ceased. The German state of Bavaria, which owns the copyright, had kept the book from returning, anew, to shelves. Yet it has decided to bring it back one last time before the copyright expires at the end of 2015.

That's because it hopes one last "unattractive" edition, with additional commentary, will put Hitler's writing in perspective. The Independent reports:

We want to make clear what nonsense it contains and what a worldwide catastrophe this dangerous body of thought led to," said Markus Söder, the Bavarian finance minister. He said the state's version would contain additional information which would debunk and "demystify" the manifesto.

Bavaria said it would also publish a school version, an English language edition, an e-book and an audio book.

The decision follows a change of heart by Germany's Central Council of Jews. Stephan Kramer, its general secretary, recently backed the idea of publishing a scholarly edition of Mein Kampf, explaining its role in encouraging Nazism.

The Internet was a reason behind his changed stance: "It is all the more important that young people should see the critical version when they click on to Mein Kampf on the Web," he said.

Hitler wrote "Mein Kampf," which means "My Struggle," while in jail in 1924 after attempting to stage a coup. The BBC describes it as "part biography, part political and racist rant."

A number of English-language translations of Hitler's "Mein Kampf" are available through major retailers such as Amazon.com.

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-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" shown at a news conference announcing the upcoming publication. Credit: Lennart Preiss / Associated Press

 
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