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Hitler's Mein Kampf Returns to German Schools

Germany announced that when copyright to Mein Kampf expires, an ‘annotated’ version will be made available to students across the country.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 4/25/2012, 2:33 PM

book image
book image
Israel news photo: Flash 90

German authorities announced on Tuesday that when the copyright to Adolf Hilter’s notorious Mein Kampf expires in three years’ time, an ‘annotated’ version will be made available to students across the country.

The state of Bavaria, which became the beneficiary of Hitler’s works, property and money following the dictator’s suicide in 1945, said it was important for Germany to publish versions for children with expert analysis and comments from historians that refute his ideology.

"We want to make clear what nonsense is in there, however with catastrophic consequences," announced Bavaria’s finance minister Markus Soeder in Nuremberg. “We will demystify this work.”

The book is not illegal in Germany, but the state has not allowed it to be printed amid fears that it could promote Nazism.

While other countries have printed foreign-language editions of the work, upon which the Nazi’s genocidal policies were based, Germany has been unable to get a newly-printed version in their own language for 67 years.

Now, however, Bavaria has given permission for the rest of Germany to freely print and distribute it and in 2016, third parties will be able to release copies without obtaining permission from the state "unless it is used to incite racial hatred," Soeder said.

Recently, Bavaria won a court battle against a British publisher who sought to publish parts of the anti-Semitic diatribe in magazine format.

Bavaria contends that due to the widely available information on the Internet as well as numerous pirated copies of the work published abroad, it is better to have some control over the work when the state loses its copyright than none at all.