For the first time since the end of World War II, Mein Kampf will be published in Germany, this time with more than 3,500 annotations by scholars.
In 1946, the copyright of the book was transferred to the Bavarian regional government, and under German law, a copyright expires after 70 years; unlike the swastika and other Nazi symbols, Mein Kampf was not banned after the war. Knowing that the book would enter the public domain in January 2016, German justice officials last year said anti-incitement laws would prevent "uncritical publicizing" of Adolf Hitler's manifesto, The Financial Times reports. Only 4,000 copies of this critical edition will be published at first, and the 2,000-page book will not be widely available due to concerns of stirring up neo-Nazi sentiment.
The Institute of Contemporary History in Munich decided to publish the new version of the book so it can "challenge" non-critical editions available in secondhand bookstores, institute director Andreas Wirsching told The Financial Times Tuesday. During the Nazi era, more than 12 million copies were in circulation, and Thomas Krüger, president of the government's Center for Political Education, said it's important that critical editions exist because they will "shatter the Mein Kampf taboo," which generates "the desire to possess what is apparently forbidden."