'Mein Kampf' Reprint Plan Abandoned; Hitler's Book Would 'Cause Pain'

Image: 'Mein Kampf' Reprint Plan Abandoned; Hitler's Book Would 'Cause Pain'

Thursday, 12 Dec 2013 04:59 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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Plans for a "Mein Kampf" reprint have been dropped by Bavaria, the German state that owns the copyright to Adolf Hitler’s autobiography.

Bavaria has banned any republication of the book, but by law, the copyright expires in 2015, 70 years after the author dies. Bavarian officials had planned to print an academic copy that included critical commentary after getting feedback from those affected by Hitler and World War II.

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“Many conversations with Holocaust victims and their families have shown us that any sort of reprint of the disgraceful writings would cause enormous pain," Bavarian science minister Ludwig Spaenle told Reuters.

The state government will continue to pursue legal action against anyone reprinting any parts of “Mein Kampf,” Reuters said. The country’s Jewish community was glad to hear the reprint would be canceled.

“Hitler's sorry effort is full of hatred and contempt for humanity," a leader of Germany’s Central Council of Jews told Reuters.

Bavaria’s government had commissioned the IfZ, a German institute, to handle the critical commentary for the reprint, paying about 500,000 euros so far.

The institute announced on its website that it would continue working on adding critical commentary to the book.

In the release, institute officials said they are aware that “Mein Kampf” is a sensitive project and the perspective of Holocaust survivors is important in their work, which they say in turn is important for "historical-political education and the demystification of 'Mein Kampf.'"

IfZ plans to publish their project after the copyright expires in 2015.

Hitler wrote “Mein Kampf,” which means “My Struggle,” while he was in prison in the 1920s, talking about his plans for Germany and his political beliefs. Despite Bavaria’s ownership of the copyright, excerpts and copies of the book are available online and internationally.

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