Facism Rising? Hitler's 'Mein Kampf' Becomes German Bestseller

05 January, 2017, 01:43 | Author: Essie Rivera

A copy of an annotated version of Adolf Hitler's book "Mein Kampf" is showed prior to a press conference for its presentation in Munich, Germany, on Jan 8, 2016.

But despite growing concerns about the rise of the far-right in Germany, the publisher - Munich-based Institute of Contemporary History (IfZ) - says it believes the interest in the new edition comes from educators, rather than neo-Nazi readers.

"These sales figures have taken us by storm", Andreas Wirsching, who heads the IfZ, told German news agency DPA.

Mr Wirsching said he favoured "clever" teachers using the IfZ edition in the classroom.

A bestseller after he became chancellor in 1933, "Mein Kampf" had by 1945 sold 12 million copies and been translated into 18 languages. Once the Nazis were defeated, Allied forces gave the copyright to the Bavarian government. Hitler wrote the book while imprisoned.

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But the Institute for Contemporary History denied that its new edition had made Hitler's ideology more socially acceptable in modern Germany.

While some argued that fully acknowledging and studying the work as a historical piece could educate younger generations about the horrors of Nazi hatred and the roots of the Holocaust, others anxious that making the book readily available could bring renewed favor to its author's views, and give Neo-Nazis a piece of literature to rally around.

The book, which translates to "My Struggle", outlined Hitler's crude anti-Semitism and called called for Germans to be granted "Lebensraum" or living space. Book outlets were reportedly hiding it in their stores, ordering maybe only one copy, and many didn't advertise its re-release, The Washington Post reported.

In January a year ago, however, the copyright expired and a second edition of the text was allowed to be published.

"To the contrary, the debate about Hitler's worldview 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".

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