Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf PDF will expire copyright in Germany by 2015. What happens when officials can no longer control the printing and distribution of books? this book?
“They want to turn it into a Bible,” said Stephan Kellner, a rare book expert, whispering in a quiet room at the Bavarian state library. How do you explain how the Nazis turned a narrative book – half a memoir, half propaganda – into a central document in the ideology of the Third Reich?
When Mein Kampf expired, it also meant that anyone could publish the work in Germany in theory. A new program on BBC 4 radio has learned what German officials will do with the most scandalous book in the world.
According to the maker of a program called ‘Publish or Burn’, this book is still a dangerous document. “The history of Hitler is the story of putting Hitler down and people have lowered this book,” said John Murphy, whose grandfather had translated the first full English version of Mein Kampf in 1936.
“There is a reason for us to take the problem seriously because people can misinterpret it. Although Hitler wrote this book in the 1920s, what he wrote he did. If people noticed a little bit at the time, they might have realized the threat, ”he said.
Hitler began writing Mein Kampf while in prison for treason after a failed uprising in Munich in 1923. The book outlines the racist and anti-Semitic views. A decade later when Hitler gained power, this book became the key document of Nazi Germany. 12 million copies have been printed and distributed to newlyweds while gilded copies are displayed on official displays in officials’ homes.
The book is the Nazi political platform
At the end of World War II, when the US military captured Nazi publisher Eher Verlag, the Mein Kampf copyright was transferred to the Bavarian state government. They guarantee that this book is only reprinted in Germany under special circumstances. But with the copyright expiring in December 2015, there has been a fierce debate in Germany about how to prevent people from printing it freely.
“The Bavarian government has used copyright to control the publication of Mein Kampf but that control is about to end – what will happen?” “This is still a dangerous book – there are problems with new fascists now and the risk of people misinterpreting it if it is not in the right context,” Mr. Murphy said.
Some people question whether anyone wants to reprint this book or not. “It is full of rhetoric, difficult to follow, traces of history and tangled threads of thought that both neo-Nazis and historians want to avoid.”
Yet Mein Kampf became popular in India with politicians who were nationalists. “It is considered a very significant self-study book,” said Atrayee See, lecturer in contemporary religion and conflict at Manchester University, saying, “If you take the part about anti-Semitism, it is the book about a man who dreams of conquering the world and wants to fulfill this dream. ”
Removing this book from its context is one of the fears of those who oppose the reprint. In the ‘Publish or Burn’ program, Mr. Ludwig Unger, spokesman for the Bavarian Ministry of Education and Culture, said. “As a result of this book, millions of people died, millions were mistreated, many countries went to war. It is important that you always remember these things. When reading some sections of a book, you always have to have appropriate historical criticisms. “
When the copyright expires, the Munich Institute of Contemporary History plans to publish a new edition of Mein Kampf. This edition will incorporate the original with comments that point out the flaws and distort the facts in the book. Some Nazi victims have voiced their opposition to the approach, while the Bavarian government withdrew support after criticizing Jewish genocide survivors.
But burying this book is probably not a good way. An editorial in the New York Times argued: “The younger generation’s infection with Nazi thought could be better prevented by facing openly what Hitler wrote rather than keeping what people were saying. This cursed life in the darkness of illegality. ”
Murphy acknowledges that a worldwide ban on books is not possible. “This depends a lot on the Bavarian government’s position. They have to take a stand even in the modern world they won’t be able to prevent people from accessing the book. ”
Chris Bowlby, host of ‘Publish or Burn’, thinks iconic actions still make sense. After the copyright term, the state of Bavaria intends to use a law banning inciting ethnic hatred to prosecute those who publish this book. “In our view, Hitler’s thought is synonymous with the concept of agitation,” said Ludwig Unger, “It is a dangerous book to have in the wrong hands.”