Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ to be published in Germany for first time since WWII

Original copies of "Mein Kampf" by Adolf Hitler. A new edition is set for release in Germany for the first time since WWII.
(Frederic J. Brown / AFP/Getty Images)

Adolf Hitler’s manifesto “Mein Kampf” will return to bookstores in Germany for the first time since the end of World War II. A new annotated version of the book will be published in January 2016, reports the Telegraph.

Although the autobiography of the Nazi dictator isn’t formally banned in Germany, the book’s copyright is owned by the state of Bavaria, which has blocked its republication in the country for decades. That copyright expires at the end of 2015, however, and the book will enter the public domain.

The new version of the book is set to be published by the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich. It will be three times as long as the original version because of heavy annotations and added commentary and criticism about Hitler and Nazi Germany. The Washington Post notes that the reissue “is effectively being financed by German taxpayers, who fund the historical society that is producing and publishing the new edition.”


The decision to republish the book has been met with outrage from some observers. Levi Salomon of the Jewish Forum for Democracy and Against Anti-Semitism told the Post: “I am absolutely against the publication of ‘Mein Kampf,’ even with annotations. Can you annotate the Devil? Can you annotate a person like Hitler?”

But Magnus Brechtken, the deputy director of the Institute for Contemporary History, defended the planned reissue of the book, saying, “...I think that this is also a useful way of communicating historical education and enlightenment -- a publication with the appropriate comments, exactly to prevent these traumatic events from ever happening again.”

“Mein Kampf” is legal in most of the world, although a British member of parliament recently suggested the country consider banning it, in the wake of increased anti-Semitic incidents in the United Kingdom. Germany has also seen an uptick in anti-Semitism in recent years, and the country formed a commission to address attacks on Jewish people in the country. The move was widely criticized, however, after the commission failed to include any Jews among its members.