First ‘Mein Kampf’ published since WW2

An annotated edition of Mein Kampf, the first version of Adolf Hitler’s notorious manifesto to be published in Germany since the end of the Second World War, has gone on sale.

It is just days since the copyright of the German-language original expired at the end of 2015 — 70 years after Hitler’s death. The Munich-based Institute for Contemporary History has worked for several years on the plain-covered volume, officially titled Hitler, Mein Kampf: A Critical Edition.

Bavaria’s state finance ministry had used its copyright on the book to prevent the publication of new editions. The book was not banned in Germany, though, and could be found online, in secondhand bookshops, and in libraries. The new edition “sets out as far as possible Hitler’s sources, which were deeply rooted in the German racist tradition of the late 19th century”, said the institute’s director, Andreas Wirsching. “This edition exposes the false information spread by Hitler, his downright lies and his many half-truths, which aimed at a pure propaganda effect.

“At a time when the well-known formulae of far-right xenophobia are threatening to become... socially acceptable again in Europe, it is necessary to research and critically present the appalling driving forces of national socialism and its deadly racism”.


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