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'Mein Kampf' To Be Republished In Germany 462

Posted by samzenpus
from the formerly-banned-books dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Jacob Heilbrunn reports in The Atlantic that Germany is taking a new step toward what is often called 'normalization' as the state of Bavaria has announced that in 2015 it will publish Hitler's Mein Kampf, banned in Germany since World War II. In announcing the publication of the book, Bavarian finance minister Markus Soeder says that he wants to contribute to the 'demystification' of it. In 2015, the Bavarian state's copyright to the book will expire and the idea is to publish a scholarly version that will help stem its appeal for commercial publishers. The book is not banned by law in Germany, but Bavaria has used ownership of the copyright to prevent publication of German editions since 1945. Copyright restrictions stop at the end of 2015, 70 years after Hitler's death. By publishing in 2015 before the expiry of the copyright, Bavaria hopes to make future German editions as 'commercially unattractive' as possible. 'We want to make clear what nonsense is in there,' says Soeder and to show 'what a worldwide catastrophe this dangerous body of thought led to.'"
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'Mein Kampf' To Be Republished In Germany

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  • by Mindcontrolled (1388007) on Friday April 27, 2012 @04:38AM (#39818135)
    It wasn't required reading and it wasn't exactly banned either - the copyright was state-owned and Bavaria simply decided not to print or license it. We did read some excerpts in history class - subjecting anyone to slouch through the whole mess would probably be considered abuse. Hitler couldn't write for shit...
  • by stefanb (21140) on Friday April 27, 2012 @05:05AM (#39818263) Homepage
    The Federal Republic is the successor to the Weimar Republic, so the state was not "destroyed". Apparently, when an estate goes to the state, it goes to the state (Bundesland) where the deceased was last registered to live, not Germany; Hitler was registered as living in Munich. That's why it's Bavaria.
  • Pretty much. Like any bible, Mein Kampf isn't actually meant to be read by its believers. I tried to read it because I thought it'd be good to know what Nazis were about, and in my student activist days I spent a bit of time working against neo-Nazis. IT'S TERRIBLE! It's boring, repetitious, tedious, egowank ... so yeah, it's a perfect bible. The footnoting is the only use it has. Hitler starts bullshitting from the very first page.

  • Re:Demystification (Score:5, Informative)

    by kbg (241421) on Friday April 27, 2012 @06:09AM (#39818569)

    "Hitler planned and built the Autobahn. Or did he?

    In reality, the first section of what would later become the legendary German autobahn network was constructed and built before Hitler came to power. Construction on the Köln-Bonn Autobahn began in 1929. During opening ceremonies on August 6, 1932, none other than Konrad Adenauer was on hand to inaugurate the 20 km (12 mi) section of autobahn running between Cologne and Bonn. Adenauer, then the Oberbürgermeister (mayor) of Cologne, proclaimed: "So werden die Straßen der Zukunft aussehen." ("This is how the roads of the future will look.") Adenauer supported the autobahn project partly as a way to create jobs during hard economic times. Later he would become West Germany's first Bundeskanzler (chancellor, from 1949 to 1963)."

    From: http://german.about.com/library/blgermyth08.htm [about.com]

  • by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Friday April 27, 2012 @06:52AM (#39818751) Journal

    It already is! Once again the Net sneaks up on our old school habits! "(Blah blah blah copyright runs out in 2015 blah blah blah)". Remember that thing called countries, and how they have different laws? (Up until the US "fixes" that anyway!) Well, for now Australia's copyright laws are a lot shorter than the US, so Gutenberg Australia has some editions of texts that are still locked in copyright elsewhere. Here is Gutenberg Australia's copy of Mein Kampf, so have at it!

    http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks02/0200601.txt [gutenberg.net.au]
    Oh wait, there is this eerie clause:
    http://gutenberg.net.au/submissions.html [gutenberg.net.au]

    "Of course, works may remain copyrighted in other countries. One cannot legally download or read books posted at Project Gutenbrg of Australia if one is in a country where copyright protections extend more than 50 years past an author's death. The author's estate and publishers still retain their legal and moral rights to oversee the work in those countries."

    So, I guess you'd better not follow that link. Isn't copyright wonderful.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27, 2012 @07:03AM (#39818791)

    Semitic people include Arabs. The kosher propaganda has going far too long.

  • by Asic Eng (193332) on Friday April 27, 2012 @07:25AM (#39818879)

    Unfortunately, the US seems to have lost the knowledge of how to deal with a conquered nation.

    Part of the problem is that the US probably didn't have that knowledge in the first place - at least not to the extent it's commonly thought of today. Most of us probably think that after the end of WWII, Germans basically accepted the new government and went back to work. Unfortunately that's a propaganda legend of sorts - there was actually a lot of guerrilla fighting, murdering "collaborators", attacking allied troops and destroying infrastructure. However it was decided not to give these events any press in order not to encourage the resistance. Which made a lot of sense at the time.

    The result today is that we have a distorted view of the way things went in Germany, and that may have contributed to the ill-fated decision to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan.

    There is a documentary [youtube.com] available on youtube about the German "Werwolfs". It's quite an eye opener.

    Of course another problem of applying the "German approach" to Iraq, is that the Germans had genuinely done something wrong, and you could appeal to human morals as part of an occupation strategy. That doesn't work in Iraq, because the criminal action in this war was on the US side. In Afghanistan that angle would be possible, but nobody actually voted for Bin Laden or the Taliban, so it's hard to claim that an ordinary citizen had any involvement in that.

    It might have helped if similar education had been provided for Americans - perhaps it would have changed the approach to engage the population with more humility "we messed up but we need to fix the situation now". But generally US politicians are too afraid to tell the population that the US can be morally wrong, too.

  • Re:Heil (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27, 2012 @09:34AM (#39819959)

    This is a wonderful post. But what you say at the end about Germany "...keeping it hidden and banned since Americans left Germany...' may be true in the sense that Hitler/Nazi literature/paraphernalia became banned, but the facts regarding the atrocities committed by that regime were definitely not hidden. As I went through the German school system in the '70s, I recall vividly the compulsory viewing of documentaries that went into quite graphic details on what went on in the concentration camps. I actually feel that the government went overboard in this regard - a whole generation of Germans grew up with this enormous guilt complex that, IMHO, negatively impacted Germany's subsequent role in various post-war European organizations.

To thine own self be true. (If not that, at least make some money.)

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