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German Jews Welcome Publication of 'Mein Kampf'

The head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany calls Bavaria's decision "responsible" and a "good idea".
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 4/27/2012, 11:37 AM

book image
book image
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The German Jewish community welcomed Bavaria's decision to republish an annotated version of Adolph Hitler’s “Main Kampf” for the first time since World War II.

The head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dieter Graumann, called the decision "responsible" and a "good idea".

"If it is going to be released, then I prefer seeing a competent annotated version from the Bavarian state than profit-seekers trying to make money with Nazis," he told AFP.

"I would of course prefer it if the book disappeared on a dust heap of contempt but that will not happen," he added, noting that the text was already widely available on the Internet.

Daniel Erk, a German author and blogger called the decision "long overdue".

"My impression is that it's not as emotionally charged as it was a few years ago," he told AFP. "It is no longer taboo like it was in the 50s or 60s but it is still not normal -- you wouldn't call me if it were normal."

However, the head of the Berlin office of the American Jewish Committee, Deidre Berger, said the publication plans made her uneasy.

"I think we shouldn't underestimate the potential danger to this day of this book," she tolf the publication.

"This book presented a genocidal theory that was then enacted and the book continues to exert a horrible attraction for many young people and that's why it's very important to consider the context in which it's available, and to shape that context."

Berger said she was also wary about the notion of exposing young Germans to "rabid propaganda" with an edition for schools.

"I would certainly hope this wouldn't become a standard part of the history curriculum," she said. "Surely there is more important material for them to learn."