Mein Kampf Back on German Bookshelves – The Right Way

  • February 26, 2015

For the first time since the end of World War II, Hitler’s manifesto, Mein Kampf, will be available for sale in Germany. The 2,000-page edition includes extensive footnotes and historic annotations deemed critical by the German Government to the book being viewed in its appropriate context.

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In a January 2014 Op-Ed in the New York Daily News, Anti-Defamation League National Director, Abraham H. Fox­man pre­sciently said,” As an impor­tant his­tor­i­cal doc­u­ment, “Mein Kampf” must remain avail­able to the pub­lic — but not with­out the essen­tial sup­ple­men­tary texts; the intro­duc­tions and adden­dums that put Hitler’s writ­ings into con­text and explain their rel­e­vance today.”

The German Government’s hand was forced on the issue when data came out that Mein Kampf was the top downloaded political science book on Amazon in 2013.  It has been readily available on many services outside Germany, where access by German citizens cannot be prevented. Additionally, the copyright on Mein Kampf expires this December which would make it freely available all across the Internet.

Major online book retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble have worked with ADL over the years to place editorial reviews on Mein Kampf and other anti-Semitic works such as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and The International Jew to ensure that customers fully understand the authors’ background, intent, context and any issues surrounding the publications.  Recognizing that Mein Kampf will be readily available in Germany and can be an important educational tool, it is appropriate to acknowledge and support the German Government’s insistence upon providing the necessary context.

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