Tags: mein kampf | e-book | sales | jump

'Mein Kampf' E-Book Sales Jump, May Be Due to Anonymity of E-Readers

By Morgan Chilson   |   Thursday, 09 Jan 2014 07:29 PM

Hitler’s political manifesto "Mein Kampf" is sitting near the top of iTunes e-book best-seller lists and may be a testament to the anonymity of e-readers that allows people to read books privately.

A journalist who has written about the “Mein Kampf” sales surge for Vocativ.com told ABC that the phenomenon may have started with “50 Shades of Grey.”

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“These are things that people would be embarrassed to read otherwise," Chris Faraone told ABC News. "Books that people would probably be a bit more embarrassed to read or display or buy in public, they are more than willing to buy on their Kindle or iPads.

“Let's say you have a latent curiosity, [Mein Kampf] is very present in e-book stores, you don't have to go out of your way to find it, it's a no-brainer," Faraone told ABC.

Paper copy sales of “Mein Kampf” have been slow in the U.S., but The Guardian reported that when it was published in Turkey in 2005 it sold 100,000 copies in two months.

Hitler wrote the book, which translates to “My Battle,” in 1923 while in prison and its socialist and anti-Semitic views didn’t originally sell well, Faraone said on Vocativ.com. But as Hitler rose to power, the book eventually earned him what Faraone said would be equal to $153 million today. Part of that was because the Third Reich bought 6 million copies and handed them out to people for free.

Jewish leaders have said they’re concerned about the increase in sales and don’t think companies should profit from “hate books,” ABC News said. Academic study is legitimate but World Jewish Congress CEO Robert Singer told ABC in an email that sales likely are also to “neo-Nazis and skinheads idolizing the greatest monster in history.”

Elite Minds Inc. sells a 99 cent “Mein Kampf” and the company’s CEO Michael Ford said he thinks the interest has surged from academics.

“They can read it in the subway without fear of being mistaken for a racist just because they want to learn about history," Ford told ABC.

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