Yeah you heard right!
There are certain things that will get you arrested/death rayed in Germany, for example throwing the odd Hitler salute here and there, but there has never been a law against printing his book Mein Kampf. Good thing or bad thing?
For those of you that don’t already know, Mein Kampf (translated to ‘My Struggle’ – oh the irony) is a book Hitler wrote in 1924, when he was in prison for staging a coup. They already knew he was a bit of a badass before he even came to power! It contains both autobiographical content and his political theories and ideology.
‘God bless the Aryan race and the Fatherland, and let’s exterminate everyone else! Especially those damn Jews.’ Or something like that.
Due to technical issues (isn’t that always the way?), they have been able to ban new editions of this manuscript being printed. After Word War II, Bavaria became part-owners of some of Hitler’s property. Only fair, since he did kind of give the place a bad name…what with setting up his headquarters there and stuff. The copyright expires in 2015, and so after this they can consider printing new editions.
Anyway, guess who is pretty much encouraging this impressive feat of contraversialism (did I just make up a word?); only the General Secretary of the Central Council of Jews in Germany! I guess if the Jews are okay with this then others have little reason to complain.
However, Hitler is a historical figure, so I think it would be pretty ridiculous to ban his books. I mean come on, the majority of the world know who he was and what he stood for. The book itself isn’t going to come as much of a surprise. It could be prove valuable to historians and Nazis alike, and don’t forget that you can get it for free online anyway. There are also previous editions still on sale…just maybe avoid any with sticky pages. You don’t know where they’ve been.
The new edition will show Hitler as a ‘fanatic’. Someone who was not afraid to speak his mind and encourage others to take on his points of view. It will be annotated in such a way that we will be able to see exactly what he was doing and how he led the country to commit what some say is the worst crime in human history.
Stephan J Cramer, General Secretary of the Central Council of Jews in Germany said that “handing Hitler’s book will be a litmus test of whether Holocaust education of the past 60 years has succeeded or failed”. Well, let’s just hope it succeeded eh?!