'Mein Kampf' set for first German post-war reprint
Annotated extracts of Adolf Hitler's ‘Mein Kampf’ will be republished in Germany next week for the first time since the Nazi dictator's fall in 1945, the British publisher of the text said.
Peter McGee told AFP that "a brochure of 12 to 15 pages" would be published on January 26 "in which extracts from Mein Kampf will be printed on one side and commentary from a well-known historian on the other."
"Everyone knows [the book] and sees it as a sort of diabolical ‘Nazi Bible’," he said, adding: "But people haven't read it and therefore haven't seen that it is the poor-quality and confused work of a totally twisted mind," said McGee.
Mein Kampf (My Struggle) has been banned in Germany since the end of World War II, and the southern state of Bavaria holds the rights until 70 years after the Nazi dictator's death in 1945.
The book, written in 1924 when Hitler was languishing in a Bavarian prison, combines elements of autobiography and sets out his views on Aryan racial purity, his hatred of Jews and his opposition to communism.
The head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dieter Graumann, said publication was only acceptable if accompanied by annotation putting the autobiography-cum-manifesto in the correct historical context.
"Of course it would be better if it were not published but if it has to be published, it must be accompanied by historians' commentary," he told AFP.
However, a spokesman for the state of Bavaria said it was looking into legal efforts to prevent the publication.
It is not the first time McGee has been involved in controversial projects of this nature.
In 2009, he caused a stir when he began selling reprints in Germany of the Nazi newspaper Voelkischer Beobachter (People's Observer) with comments from historians.