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70 Years After Hitler's Death, Germany To Republish 'Mein Kampf'

One of two rare copies of "Mein Kampf," signed by the young Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and due for auction, are pictured in Los Angeles, California on February 25, 2014. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)
One of two rare copies of "Mein Kampf," signed by the young Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and due for auction, are pictured in Los Angeles, California on February 25, 2014. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

Adolf Hitler’s manifesto “Mein Kampf” is a rambling, hate-filled, disjointed and sometimes unintelligible blueprint for the Third Reich. When a new annotated edition of the book is published in Germany in January 2016, it will mark the first time in almost 70 years that the text will be found in German bookstores.

After the war, the occupying allies banned the book, and the rights passed to Hitler’s home state of Bavaria. But the copyright expires at the end of the year, and all 16 German states have agreed that the book can be re-released, as long as it contains annotations.

But even with the 4,000 or so expected footnotes, there has been protest. A spokesman for the Jewish Forum For Democracy Against Anti Semitism in Berlin asked “can you annotate the devil?”

The new version is being published by the well-respected Institute of Contemporary History in Munich. Magnus Brechtken is the deputy director of the institute and joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss the historical significance of the re-release, as well as the historical value of the text itself.

Guest

  • Magnus Brechtken, deputy director of the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich.

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