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Jennifer Rosenberg

Should "Mein Kampf" Be Published in Germany?

By April 30, 2008

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Since the end of World War II, Adolf Hitler's book, Mein Kampf has not been allowed to be published in Germany. However, in 2015, the copyright on the book will run out and Mein Kampf will then be in the public domain. (In Germany, copyright lasts for 70 years after the author's death.) Many fear what uses neo-Nazis will make of the book. To combat rampant printing and use of Mein Kampf for racist purposes, historians and others are advocating for an academic printing of the book within Germany that would include a large amount of annotations to place the work in a historical context.

Is printing an academic version of Mein Kampf a good idea? Is there any way to prevent neo-Nazis and others from using Hitler's book to promote their racist philosophies? (Please post your thoughts by clicking "comments" below.)


May 1, 2008 at 1:56 am
(1) Dave says:

Hitler was a monster, he organised one of the worst genocides in the history of this planet, who in their right mind would want to recirculate his ideas. The copyright might run out soon, but that doesn’t mean that the filthy book can’t be outlawed in some way to prevent it’s circulation. Perhaps some kind of international petition presented to the United Nations and other relevant bodies, and signed by people all around the world might add weight to such a law being passed. Food for thought…

May 2, 2008 at 2:23 am
(2) bob says:

as always…freedom of speech depends on who the victims are…copies are available.

May 2, 2008 at 9:27 am
(3) cannes says:

These concerns are incredibly naieve and, in their own way racist and jingoistic. They’re predicated on the notion that the German people are genetically and culturally more inclined toward genocide than the rest of the world. When it comes to racism, their society is hardly alone. This book has been widely published and read in the United States where incidents of anti-semitism and racism raise their ugly heads on a regular basis. But ongoing public discussion of these issues has managed to maintain a climate of acceptance here in which people have been able to live their lives in peace, if not always harmony.

A lot of dangerous books have been written. The best response to them is education, the promotion of critical thinking, ongoing discussion of the issues and continued examination of the forces that spawn tyranny. Is it so hard to accept the liklihood that modern Germans will read the book and be as horrified by what they see there as other enlightened people in the world? It would seem that, at a minimum, publication of the book would spur healthy public examination and discussion of the nation’s past within Germany. Clearly, that’s already begun.

May 5, 2008 at 7:04 am
(4) Andrew Dean says:

This is why it should be allowed to be published:

Hitler and nazism are obscene. The book will confirm it.
It is unreadable. I believe some wag in the 1920s callled it ’164,000 offences against German grammer’
If it is not allowed to be published it will be anyway and gain the cache of an underground publication.
Hitler never gained 50 percent of the German vote of those who bothered to vote.Germans are not no brainers.
Suggestion: Give away with each copy a DVD of Chaplin’s the Great Dictator. The no brainers who like Hitler will find that much more manageable to look at and then they can sulk when -or if- they realise it is a whacky protrayal of Hitler. Fanatics must be laughed at. Can`t someone write a satirical version? Contact Mel Brookes. Stop running scared people. Make t shirts -’Hitler was a moron and so are his followers.’

Andrew Dean

May 7, 2008 at 1:14 pm
(5) Nats says:

Print it. Let anyone use use it. The only speech that shoud censored (and usually is through law) is that that directly orders violence against others. The rest can be delt with.

I don’t like what the Nazi’s have to say but they must have the right to say it. We can not truly be free if they can’t. Our ideas might be next.

May 8, 2008 at 4:24 am
(6) rotich says:

i feel the book should be published to put to public domain for us to understand who hitler really was,what was his driving force and what was his beliefs.this are very important so as the same ideologies may not have a chance ever to re-surface on the face of the earth

May 8, 2008 at 2:37 pm
(7) Michele says:

Whether the book is published in Germany or not, anyone can gain access to it by purchasing it over the internet from another country.

May 11, 2008 at 6:50 am
(8) maj gen aps chauhan says:

Yes the book should be printed in Germany. One sees no reason why it should not as it is available freely at least in India and recently has been translated in Hindi too! I have read it and apart from the Jewish problem which must have been a popular concern for Hitler to have exploited it so well there is a lot of good sense in that book worth emulating!!Abrassive repulsion for the book becomes motivated persecution of mind and spirit.

March 2, 2009 at 11:34 am
(9) brandon lee says:

i would kill him

March 7, 2009 at 4:44 pm
(10) maj gen aps chauhan says:

Why not ? It is an excellent collection of thoughts and many leave an impact with sense.It is not about genocide anyway. It is a widely read book in India and is freely available here.A Hindi translation too is available.

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