First time since WW II, a new edition of Hitler’s Mein Kampf been published in German
The timing could not have been more eerie. As Germany faces its biggest social and political crisis since the Second World War, Hitler’s Mein Kampf has again hit German bookstores. After 70 years, Germans once again have a chance of legally owning the vicious rants of this notorious Austrian-born psychopath — in a hard bound version for €58,99.
The recent migration from Middle East and North Africa did not only increase the level of antisemitism in Germany, it has also given a new lease of life to Neo-Nazi outfits. Last year, Charlotte Knobloch, the former President of Jewish umbrella group the Central Council of Jews in Germany, warned member of the tiny Jewish community in the country to “avoid being recognizable as Jews” in public, calling this the most perilous time for Jews to be in Germany since 1945.
Charlotte Knobloch (83), a Holocaust survivor herself, knows what she is talking about.
In recent months, other Jewish leaders in Germany have echoed Knobloch’s sentiments, warning Jews to avoid wearing yarmulke and other Jewish symbols in “districts with strong Muslim populations.”
In November 2015, the present head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster urged German Chancellor Merkel to reconsider her policy of unrestricted migration, warning that many new migrants come “from cultures in which hate towards Jews and intolerance are fixed components.” Needless to say, such pleas to German leadership have fallen on deaf ears.
According to NBC, the first 4.000 copies of Mein Kampf’s annotated edition were sold out in less than a week, receiving additional 15.000 orders. The new edition of Hitler’s Mein Kampf is published by Institute for Contemporary History in Munich, in a move to counter wide circulation of the uncommented publications which can now be reprinted without copyright restrictions. Originally published in 1925, Mein Kampf (My Struggle) was by far the most read book in Nazi Germany. Over 12 million copies of the book were sold in Germany by the end of the World War II. News magazine Newsweek reports:
For the first time since World War II, a new edition of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf has been published in GermanSophisticated and articulate antisemitism of the European elites meets the crude and ugly antisemitism of the streets infused by the recent migrants.y, and it’s proving even more popular than when it first came out.
The new two-volume book, in which Hitler says Jews are “the personification of the devil,” comes in at 2,000 pages, including 3,700 annotations. The Germany-based Institute for Contemporary History, which has been researching the Nazi regime since 1949, self-published the book. Magnus Brechtken, deputy director of the institute, says it had 15,000 orders by January 8, when it went on sale with an initial print run of 4,000. Days later, the book was on its third print run, and the number of orders continues to climb. (…)
Mein Kampf has not been widely available in Germany since then, because the Bavarian state government obtained the copyright and refused to allow anyone to print it. The copyright expired at the end of December, 70 years after Hitler’s death. Now anyone can publish it, as long as the edition includes criticism, so that it does not violate volksverhetzung, German laws against incitement to hatred. (The original text is widely available in other countries.)
Not just new migrants, German and European mainstream isn’t immune to antisemitism either. To placate the growing section of, mostly Muslim, migrant population that knowingly uses violent intimidation and riots as a tool for social and political domination, many European politician look for the quick and cheap remedies elsewhere. And blaming the Jews — which has a long-teasted tradition in Europe — comes in handy again.
In last elections the German chancellor hopeful, Sigmar Gabriel and recently [after the deadly Paris attacks], Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom have joined the ranks of European politicians who are willing to bash Israel to score brownie points with the European Left and the migrant Muslim population. Articulate and well spoken antisemitism of the European elites now meets the crude and ugly antisemitism of the streets, infused by the recent migrants.
In their Quixotic search for ‘peace’ in the Arab and Muslim world, their only hope is to arm-twist Israel into making more territorial concessions in face of perpetual Arab rage and Rejectionism. They are the rightful heirs of European political elite that once hoped of containing Nazi Germany by giving more territory to Hitler under the Munich Agreement of 1938. But don’t expect them to give up on that plan anytime soon.
I know that the new academic edition is annotated with loads informative footnotes; and besides as a foreigner living in Germany, who am I to tell my German neighbour what to pick for his next “gute Nacht” bedtime read. Call me superstitious; but when I see Hitler’s Mein Kampf hitting the bestseller list — while antisemitism in Germany reaches a historic peak, I just have that eerie feeling.
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(Cover image courtesy Bayerischer Rundfunk, You Tube screenshot)
[Author is an Indian journalist based near Cologne, Germany]