After seven long decades, the Nazi manifesto Mein Kampf written by Adolf Hitler during his days in prison can now be easily and freely purchased in Germany and elsewhere in the world.
Interestingly, the book’s first reprint and opening of sales has proved to be a runaway success with 85,000 copies of it getting sold like hot cakes. The demand for the book can be gauged from the fact that initially, only 4,000 copies were to be published in Germany.
But the upward moving demand curve made the publisher to reprint 85,000 copies. This, however, is not news as Mein Kampf happened to be one of those rare books that was read by a whooping number of people. Can you believe nearly 12.4 million copies of this semi-autobiographical book were published in Germany since 1936?
Hardly anybody knows that during the Nazi regime, the German state gave a copy of Mein Kampf to all newlyweds as a wedding gift. Way back in 1945, just after the World War II, a survey was made in Germany. The report of the survey said that about a fifth of Germans read Mein Kampf from start to finish.
Mein Kampf indeed has become an international issue now with the media hyping it to the hilt. Why not? Is not the book’s history really worthy of news? Let us have a peep into it.
Why Is Mein Kampf in the News?
The copyright of this book was handed over to Germany’s Bavarian Regional Government (BRG) by the Allied Power after the World War II. The BRG was asked not to print Mein Kampf which made virulent attacks on the Jews. Naturally, people could not buy the book in Germany for seven long decades.
Under German law, copyright lasts for 70 years, and so publishers now have free access to the original text written by Hitler. The BRG did not reprint Mein Kampf since 1945 as they apprehended that the content of the book might again incite hatred against the Jews.
Waiving of this copyright restriction comes at a very crucial time when the waves of neo-Nazism are dashing against the frontiers of different European nations including Germany. It also juxtaposes with the daring statement made by the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Hitler’s Germany was an example of how powerful a man at the supreme whelm of affairs.
After the victory of Allied Powers, spies and police regularly raided houses to see if they had Main Kampf in their bookshelf. This prompted most of the Germans to burn the book or destroy them otherwise. It was in this backdrop that Main Kampf’s publication was banned.
Subsequently, there was a severe shortage of the copies of the book not only in Germany but also in Poland, Austria, Hungary and other parts of Eastern Europe. The book, however, was available in other parts of the world.
In fact, Mein Kampf was studied by researchers, historians and politicians very widely outside Germany for a very interesting purpose: make critical analysis through the content of the book to comprehend and understand what happened in the Nazi era and how this book acted as a catalyst to foment the anti-Semitic or anti-Jew mass frenzy.
The first volume of Mein Kampf was printed for the first time in 1925. The second volume was published next year. That was eight years before Hitler and his Nazi party came to power in Germany. In this book, he had outlined the political ideology of Nazism and his future plans for Germany. In Mein Kampf, Hitler used the term “Jewish Peril” and said that the Jews were conspiring to gain international leadership which must be combated.
Why There is Sudden Surge in Demand for Mein Kampf
The waiving of copyright comes at a time when the waves of Neo-Nazism are dashing against the frontiers of almost all European nations. In Germany, this has become so alarming that Chancellor Angela Merkel even sought to find out ways and means to combat Neo-Nazism. In England, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, France and Italy, the Neo-Nazism has resurfaced posing a grave problem to the respective governments of those countries.
Mein Kampf is now going to be freely available across the world. Since the latest trend of Neo-Nazism shows that the youngsters are getting attracted to it, the free availability of the book will further complicate the issue. The younger generation will get more influenced by it. However, a book is a book and it must be read.
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