Though available in other parts of the world, the Nazi manifesto was banned from publication in Germany – until now

By Jeff Nelson
Updated February 25, 2015 05:50 PM
Credit: Getty

Adolf Hitler’s Nazi manifesto will soon be reprinted in its country of origin.

While the book has long been available in English and other foreign languages, reprints in Germany were banned after the end of World War II by the state of Bavaria, which owns the copyright. Those rights officially expire in December, and a heavily annotated version of the book is expected to be released in early 2016.

The reissue is causing a stir in Germany and across the world, but Germany’s Institute of Contemporary History, the taxpayer-funded group publishing the new version, is touting it as an academic tool.

“I understand some immediately feel uncomfortable when a book that played such a dramatic role is made available again to the public,” Magnus Brechtken, the institute’s deputy director, told The Washington Post.

“On the other hand, I think that this is also a useful way of communicating historical education and enlightenment – a publication with the appropriate comments, exactly to prevent these traumatic events from ever happening again,” Brechtken also said.

Critics aren’t convinced.

“I am absolutely against the publication of Mein Kampf, even with annotations. Can you annotate the Devil? Can you annotate a person like Hitler? This book is outside of human logic,” Levi Salomon, the spokesperson for Berlin’s Jewish Forum for Democracy and Against Anti-Semitism, told the Post.