First reprint of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf in Germany since World War 2 proves surprise bestseller

The Institute of Contemporary History published the reprint in January last year

Adolf Hitler's book "Mein Kampf" prior to a press conference for its presentation in Munich, southern Germany.
Adolf Hitler's book "Mein Kampf" prior to a press conference for its presentation in Munich, southern Germany.

Following Adolf Hitler's suicide in 1945, the rights to his infamous autobiography, Mein Kampf (translation: “My Struggle”) were transferred to the state of Bavaria, who refused to ever publish the controversial book in Germany.

However, the country’s copyright law dictates that texts enter the public domain 70 years after the author’s death, meaning anyone could publish the work from 2016 onwards.

To some controversy, the Institute of Contemporary History (IfZ) released the first reprint of the anti-semitic manifesto last January, the two-volume book selling out on Amazon's German site within hours.

The IfZ has since revealed that 85,000 copies of the heavily annotated Mein Kampf have sold since January, making it one of the year’s bestsellers in Germany. A sixth print of the book will reach bookstores later this month.

Many commentators have expressed their worry that the IfZ is inadvertently spreading Nazi propaganda.

Addressing these controversy surrounding the reprint, Andreas Wirsching, the director of the IfZ, told The Guardian: “To the contrary, the debate about Hitler’s world view and his approach to propaganda offered a chance to look at the causes and consequences of totalitarian ideologies, at a time in which authoritarian political views and rightwing slogans are gaining ground.”

The institute reportedly collected data from regional booksellers that pointed to customers primarily being ‘interested in politics and history as well as educators, and not reactionaries or rightwing radicals’.

Despite various countries expressing an interest in the annotated version, for now, only translations to French and English are planned.

For much of the year, Mein Kampf was increasingly difficult to get a hold of, something one Professor discussed earlier this year with The Independent.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in