The West German republic that emerged from the ashes of the Second World War was a paradoxical place. Here was an impeccable liberal democracy that, nevertheless, banned statements and books. Those statements were, of course, those that denied the holocaust and those books were copies of Hitler's Mein Kampf. West Germany's leaders felt that the need to stamp out the embers of Nazism required compromises on certain liberal principles such as free speech.
Yet now there is a push, supported by Germany's Central Council of Jews, to allow the publication of a critical and scholarly edition of Hitler's 1924 tract. Such moves deserve support. It is time for Germany to end this illiberal anachronism. Publication does not mean acceptance. Poisonous ideas need to be confronted, not silenced. And why not allow young Germans to see for themselves what a poisonous and worthless piece of trash Hitler wrote?Reuse content