Mein Kampf

Why There’s No Point in Banning Mein Kampf

Do you think that Hitler’s Mein Kampf is one of the most dangerous book in the world? I’m not so sure that it is. Read on to find out why.

Mein Kampf is a 1925 autobiographical book by Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler. The work describes how Hitler became antisemitic. It also outlines his political ideology and future plans for Germany. 1925 saw the publication of Volume 1 of Mein Kampf, with Volume 2 being issued the following year. After 1945, the copyright passed to the state of Bavaria, which blocked all reprints.

But now that the 70-year copyright has expired an annotated edition of Mein Kampf has been published in Germany. The annotations are designed to refute its arguments. The worry was that the dictator’s ramblings could win new fans. And worse still promote anti-Semitism, xenophobia and stir neo-Nazi sentiment. As of January 2017, the German annotated edition has sold over 85,000 copies.

Some Jewish leaders are demanding that this vile work be kept hidden in history’s poison cupboard:

…  This project may be well-intended, but the Bavarian government was right not to allow its republication until the expiry of the copyright, or to support a new edition.

Yet we can no more excise Mein Kampf from the world than we can undo the murderous deeds of the Nazis. Besides, the ban was always a chimera, as it has long been available in English outside Germany. Nor need anyone fear that schools will use the new edition. It’s far too complex and sprawling for that. I believe that the truth is for the majority of Germans, Hitler is correctly condemned as a murderous criminal. And the publicity aroused by this event is way out of proportion to its likely effects.

What do you think? Ban or not? Leave a comment below:

Photo by Sterneck on / CC BY-NC-SA

Originally posted 2017-12-09 12:02:37.

1 Comment

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