I doubt the timing would ever be right for this 1925/26 not-so-feelgood best seller to reappear in Germany. The AP describes it this way:
“Hitler wrote “Mein Kampf” — or “My Struggle” — after he was jailed following the failed 1923 coup attempt known as the Beer Hall Putsch. Millions of copies were printed after the Nazis took power in 1933. The rambling tome set out Hitler’s ultranationalist, anti-Semitic and anti-communist ideology for his National Socialist German Workers Party, or Nazi party, airing the idea of a war of conquest in eastern Europe.”
From a simple legal standpoint, the copyright law in Germany that allowed Bavaria to keep the book off the market for exactly 70 years after the author’s death expires beginning in 2016. Hitler committed suicide April 30, 1945.
Supposedly all the right things are being done to assure this printing does not somehow become an inspiration manual or instruction guide for 21st century ultranationalists, religious zealots, or, as I will show tremendous courage in saying, radical Islamic terrorists. Only a few thousand copies will be made.
AP: “The book should not be underestimated as a historical source and also as a key to understanding the history of National Socialism,” the director of the Munich institute, Andreas Wirsching, said ahead of the new edition’s mid-January publication. Among serious historians in Germany, you won’t find one who is against a commented edition and hasn’t been calling for one for years,” said Sven Felix Kellerhoff, a journalist with the daily Die Welt and a historian who has written about “Mein Kampf” himself. “That goes from conservatives to the left.”
This new print edition will have hundreds of extra pages of explanation and rebuttal of Hitler, from The Institute for Contemporary History in Munich. All proceeds go to charity. “Mein Kampf” has been available in the rest of the world all these years, so you would think that technically this isn’t such a big deal. I think it is.
While I hate to relate everything to Trump, he has shown that at this moment, a well-delivered, angry, blame everyone else/ultra-nationalist, let’s take back our country campaign of hate is fully capable of tapping into a segment of United States voters. So far, fully immune from fact-checkers who are easily dismissed, not to be believed members of “the enemy,” … the parallels of Trump’s appeal have gotten my attention. I don’t know about you. Let’s bring another guy into the mix, just for fun, via the Washington Post:
Perhaps nobody understands Donald Trump better than the guy who has played him on TV for the better part of a decade. Stephen Colbert isn’t afraid to acknowledge that he is hardly the first to compare Trump’s real-life persona to Colbert’s former arch-conservative Comedy Central character. But Colbert’s analysis of Trump is savvy even beyond that. “I’m not the first person to say this, but I completely agree that he’s my old character with $10 billion,” the former host of “The Colbert Report” and current host of the “Late Show” told CBS’s “Face the Nation” in an interview airing Sunday 12/27.
Germany has an immigration problem that makes ours look like nothing. Far-right anti-immigration sentiment there and in much of Europe dwarfs our own. So, does the physical reappearance of the “Mein Kampf” in Germany really mean anything? I can only speculate that in an internet, soundbite, out-of-context world that did not exist in 1925, the worst of the worst of this book will get at least a bit of new attention. From who? The thousand-page refutation and explanation and fact-check is more likely than not to be ignored and scoffed at by those who again will use its vile themes for the unspeakable horrors of today.