Back in 1924, while in jail for treason, an Austrian man with megalomaniac tendencies wrote a little something called ‘Mein Kampf.’ He then went on to become one of the most hated men in all of history.
On January 1, 2016, a copyright held by Bavaria expired – thus allowing reprints of Adolf Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ to be made. The German Teachers’ Association called for a reprinting of the book so that it might be used to ‘inoculate adolescents against political extremism.’ Well, they got their wish. A 2,000-page annotated version of the text hit bookstores on January 8 and the initial print run of 4,000 copies wasn’t nearly enough to satiate demand. A whopping 15,000 advance orders came in for the initial run and people are so interested in this subversive text that an edition of the book sold on Amazon.de for a whopping 9,999.99 euros.
Naturally, not everyone is too pleased about Hitler’s manifesto being reprinted. A great deal of the Jewish population in Germany aren’t too keen on seeing the text back on shelves and Charlotte Knobloch, leader of the Jewish community in Munich, said she was “not able to imagine seeing the book in shop windows.” However, Germany’s main Jewish group – the Central Council of Jews – doesn’t seem too perturbed that ‘Mein Kampf’ has made a resurgence. Their only insistence is that no versions of ‘Mein Kampf’ are printed without annotations.
Frankly, I see absolutely no need for this text to be reprinted. Using it for educational purposes makes no sense to me and the decision to start selling reprints in France also makes no sense to me. But I’m not the only one who feels this way. Roger Cukierman, president of the Council of Jewish Institutions of France, says that selling reprints in France will be “a disaster,” and I’m inclined to agree with him. In a world where there’s already so much hate, why should we have such a hateful text back on shelves – why have something so heinous out there that can give twisted people ideas?