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An Oldie but a Goodie: Bavaria to Republish “Mein Kampf” for German Students

Mein Aus­ter­i­ty

COMMENT: The state of Bavaria is going to re-pub­lish Mein Kampf for Ger­man stu­dents. A num­ber of ques­tions sug­gest them­selves in the con­text of this devel­op­ment:

  • As not­ed in a recent com­ment by “Pter­rafractyl,” there is a push among Euro­zone vot­ers (which may include Ger­man vot­ers, even­tu­al­ly) to embrace growth, rather than “aus­ter­i­ty.” If there should be a “demo­c­ra­t­ic rejec­tion” of the fas­cism inher­ent in “aus­ter­i­ty,” might MK be the text for the next step?
  • In this regard, we might men­tion that indi­ca­tions are that most Ger­man cit­i­zens do not har­bor the Nazi visions that dom­i­nate that coun­try’s pow­er struc­ture. Most Ger­mans just want to sur­vive, work and have a lit­tle fun. Most Ger­man work­ers have not shared in the boom that Cor­po­rate Ger­many has expe­ri­enced.  Might the re-pub­li­ca­tion of MK be a move toward “let ’em eat fas­cism”?
  • Before reject­ing the first point out of hand, con­sid­er the extent to which the “new” Ger­many has embraced the agen­da of the “Old Ger­many”–call­ing for a “Nurem­berg II” to redress the crimes against the ver­triebene groups. Con­sid­er also the remark­able devel­op­ment where­by Germany/EU installed the Greek Nazi par­ty as part of the Greek pro­vi­sion­al gov­ern­ment, with no input from the Greeks.
  • Will the Under­ground Reich and/or Bavaria prof­it from the pub­li­ca­tion? The announce­ment was made by the Bavar­i­an finance min­is­ter.
  • In the recent past, Ger­many has neu­tral­ized cer­tain places–graves of Third Reich lumi­nar­ies for example–that might have become neo-Nazi shrines. Re-pub­lish­ing “Mein Kampf” seems dia­met­ri­cal­ly opposed to this trend.
  • Will the “anno­ta­tions by his­to­ri­ans” include input from the likes of Ernst Nolte?

“Mein Kampf to Return to Ger­man Schools 67 Years after Hate-Filled Copy of Hitler’s Hate-Filled Book Was Print­ed There” by Allan Hall; Mail Online; 4/24/2012.

EXCERPT: Mein Kampf: The hate-filled book has not been print­ed in Ger­many for 70 years. But Bavaria want to pro­duce an anno­tat­ed ver­sion before it los­es own­er­ship of its copy­right in three years time.

While the book is not ille­gal in Ger­many, the state has not allowed it to be print­ed amid fears that it could pro­mote Nazism.
Oth­er coun­tries have print­ed for­eign-lan­guage edi­tions since then, despite the restric­tions but Ger­mans have been unable to get a new­ly-print­ed ver­sion in their own lan­guage for 67 years.

But now Bavaria has now giv­en per­mis­sion for the rest of Ger­many to freely print the book, with includes dia­tribes against Jews and Slavs and the prophe­cy of a Ger­man war of con­quest in the east.

‘The edi­tions we plan will con­tain com­ments from experts that are clear­ly under­stand­able to the young so they can clear­ly under­stand and there­fore inter­pet the dan­ger­ous ideas with­in,’ announced Bavaria’s finance min­is­ter Markus Soed­er in Nurem­berg. . . .


5 comments for “An Oldie but a Goodie: Bavaria to Republish “Mein Kampf” for German Students”

  1. To be hon­est Dave, I orig­i­nal­ly thought this might just be a good thing; after all, what bet­ter way to counter fas­cist pro­pa­gan­da than to present log­i­cal argu­ments against it?

    That said, though, I am con­cerned that unscrupu­lous indi­vid­u­als like Ernst Nolte might end up tak­ing advan­tage of this as well. Some­thing we REALLY need to watch, IMO.

    Posted by Steve L. | April 26, 2012, 4:43 am
  2. The human mind runs on a dual brain sys­tem, and books like Mein Kampf appeal to the emo­tion­al side. Putting this book in young peo­ple’s hands and pro­mot­ing log­i­cal argu­ments about the book’s mes­sage is like tak­ing young men to a strip club and pro­mot­ing log­i­cal argu­ments about sex­u­al ethics and moral­i­ty. Con­tin­u­ing dis­cus­sion about why we reject its hate­mon­ger­ing is the only way to counter that hate­mon­ger­ing. But it makes no sense to pub­lish new copies of it “for edu­ca­tion­al pur­pos­es” than it does to include raw manure sam­ples in organ­ic chem­istry text­books “for edu­ca­tion­al pur­pos­es”.

    Posted by Suchiibu | April 26, 2012, 9:53 pm
  3. [...] An Oldie but a Good­ie: Bavaria to Repub­lish “Mein Kampf” for Ger­man Stu­dents [...]

    Posted by Miscellaneous articles for – Articles divers pour 04-27-2012 | Lys-d'Or | April 27, 2012, 10:01 am
  4. @Suchiibu: I can see your point, and it is quite valid and log­i­cal in my view: Unfor­tu­nate­ly, there is indeed a pos­si­bil­i­ty that any hon­est efforts to debunk Mein Kampf might either be hijacked, or back­fire, or both.

    I have per­son­al­ly read Hitler’s auto­bi­og­ra­phy a cou­ple of times, as part of a ‘Know Your Ene­my’ exer­cise, and I cer­tain­ly under­stand just how evil and deranged Hitler tru­ly was. But the prob­lem is, what do you think would hap­pen when an emo­tion­al­ly dis­turbed nutjob or brain-dead din­gus gets their hands on it? Sad­ly, there are still some pret­ty stu­pid peo­ple out there: whether it be today’s teabag­gers, or those who vot­ed for Wal­lace in ’68, or the hard­core Chris­t­ian Right in the ’80s, it does­n’t matter....they’re all idiots.

    Posted by Steven L. | April 28, 2012, 6:52 am
  5. Well, Glenn Beck final­ly has some seri­ous com­pe­ti­tion in the non-fic­tion book cat­e­go­ry. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, this does­n’t appear to be a sign of progress...

    Thurs­day, Jan 9, 2014 12:04 PM CST
    The year’s unlike­li­est best­selling author: Hitler
    Sales of “Mein Kampf” are spik­ing — what’s behind it?
    Mary Eliz­a­beth Williams

    The non­fic­tion best­seller list is tra­di­tion­al­ly pep­pered with con­tro­ver­sial fig­ures and provoca­tive sub­ject mat­ter. But among the cur­rent crop of hot authors, you still might not expect to find the most noto­ri­ous fig­ure of the 20th cen­tu­ry. Meet Adolf Hitler, Nazi mas­ter­mind and unlike­ly e‑book cham­pi­on.

    As Chris Faraone first not­ed ear­li­er this week on vocativ.com, “Mein Kampf,” Hitler’s 1925 qua­si mem­oir and man­i­festo on the “the Jew­ish per­il,” has become a full-fledged e‑book chart-top­per. Across plat­forms like Ama­zon, Barnes & Noble and iTunes, the book, whose Eng­lish trans­la­tion copy­right hold­er Houghton Mif­flin hasn’t even released in paper­back in 16 years, is wip­ing up the floor with more con­tem­po­rary polit­i­cal authors. Farone writes, “All sev­en of [Glenn] Beck’s books trail Herr Hitler’s near­ly cen­tu­ry-old tell-all, which con­sis­tent­ly holds its own against new e‑blockbusters like ‘Game Change’ by John Heile­mann and Mark Halperin, ‘This Town’ by Mark Lei­bovich and Nate Silver’s ‘The Sig­nal and the Noise.’”

    Nazi Ger­many – and in par­tic­u­lar its chief mas­ter­mind – have long held a fas­ci­na­tion for read­ers of world his­to­ry. But read­ing a book, many of us com­mon­ly assume, is some­how tan­ta­mount to an endorse­ment of the author. We may yearn to under­stand why ter­ri­ble things hap­pen, but from a safe dis­tance. If you hap­pened to be sit­ting in a cof­fee shop perus­ing a copy of Ron Rosenbaum’s “Explain­ing Hitler,” you’d like­ly not get a sec­ond look. If, how­ev­er, you should find your­self in a park one bucol­ic after­noon intent­ly study­ing “Mein Kampf,” you might get some quizzi­cal reac­tions. It’s one thing to try to explore what Rosen­baum calls “the ori­gins of his evil”; it’s some­thing else to choose to crawl inside the dement­ed mind of the man him­self.

    Per­haps that’s why, Faraone spec­u­lates, “Mein Kampf” has become an e‑book hit. You don’t have to go to a store and ask for it. You don’t have to con­spic­u­ous­ly pull it out on the com­muter train – it can be neat­ly hid­den by a Kin­dle cov­er. An e‑book means that now a read­er can curi­ous­ly turn over the rock that is “Mein Kampf” and see what’s wrig­gling under­neath, and seem­ing­ly no one need ever know. But as Richard Lea points out in the Guardian, “The pri­va­cy elec­tron­ic read­ers are avail­ing them­selves of isn’t exact­ly pri­vate. The per­son oppo­site you on the tube may not know you’re fol­low­ing der Führer on your Kin­dle, but Ama­zon sure as hell does.” Enjoy your illu­sions of pri­va­cy until your “rec­om­men­da­tions” scare the crap out of you.


    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 9, 2014, 2:36 pm

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