Mein Kampf, Illustration
Mein Kampf, IllustrationPhoto: Reuters

A new edition of the Nazi dictator's autobiography “Mein Kampf” hit German bookshelves recently, amid considerable controversy - and it is now a best-seller in the country.

A week after the Institute for Contemporary History published the annotated version of the book, all copies sold out.

Dr. Efraim Zuroff, Director General of the Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, suggests to check the identity of the buyers, "I'm a little surprised with the high demand for the book, in terms of language and style it is difficult to read, so I would not be surprised if most people who bought the book will not even read it. Most people may just be curious to buy a book that was prohibited from the market for years.”

Indeed, the manifesto filled with Hitler's anti-Semitic rants, was not allowed to be distributed for the past 70 years. After World War II, the government of Bavaria, which owned the copyright, forbade its publication.

“Now that the copyright to the book expired, there is no one forbidding the distribution of the book,” said Dr. Zuroff noting that the current publication of the infamous book is a scholarly edition and contains “detailed explanations and historical background.”

“Over the years, those who really wanted to read the book could find a copy despite the ban, the book has even been translated into Hebrew. However, in this scientific edition, the text does not standing alone.  The Institute that issued the book certainly does not support the Nazis, they are serious people and the he book definitely came out in good hands."

As previously stated, Dr. Zuroff is curious to know who actually bought the book, "We do not have any information on the identity of the buyers, it is unknown whether they are old or young, or perhaps a company bought and distributed books. As long as we do not know who the readers are, we cannot tackle this problem. I would not be surprised Germany’s refugee issue influenced the high number of books sold.”