Germany: Opportunists sell new edition of Hitler's Mein Kampf for €685 as Nazi 'bible' sells out

Publié le par International Business Times by Paul Wright

Germany: Opportunists sell new edition of Hitler's Mein Kampf for €685 as Nazi 'bible' sells out

The first new edition of Hitler's Mein Kampf to be published in Germany since the Second World War has rocketed in value after becoming a sell-out success. Copies of the 2,000-page annotated version of the Nazi manifesto retailed for €59 (£45, $64) when first released in January after the copyright for the original text expired.

Hitler's Mein Kampf has gone on sale in Germany for the first time since the Second World War

Hitler's Mein Kampf has gone on sale in Germany for the first time since the Second World War

The publisher, the Munich-based Institute for Contemporary History, said it had no intention of profiting from the book, saying the price would only cover the costs of production.

But the two-volume political treatise is now being sold by opportunists on online auction site eBay for up to €685 (£517) as copies run out. The German website of popular online retailer Amazon also has the book on sale for over €600 (£450), with the cheapest on offer for €355 (£268).

It comes as those behind the new "critical edition" of Mein Kampf says they have had to increase the print run due to being overwhelmed by unexpected high demand. Its initial batch of 4,000 copies quickly disappeared as they were bombarded with some 15,000 orders.

The book, which includes academic notations critical of Hitler's ideology throughout, is expected to rank 20 on the upcoming non-fiction bestseller list in Germany, according to German trade publication Buchreport.

Mein Kampf, the German for "My Struggle", was first published in two volumes in 1925 and 1927 and became the only full book written by Hitler. It became a best-seller in Germany in the 1930s, selling more than 12m copies, and was used by the Nazis to promote its racist and anti-Jewish agenda.

Copyright for the text was passed to the Bavarian government after the Second World War and its publication has been blocked since. But on 1 January 2016, the 70-year copyright ended.

The Institute for Contemporary History announced in December it would be publishing a new edition, saying it wanted to ensure a critical version was available as soon as the copyright expired.

"The edition unmasks Hitler's false allegations, his whitewashing and outright lies," Andreas Wirsching, the institute's director, told a news conference on 8 January. "At a time when the well-known formulae of far-right xenophobia are threatening to become socially acceptable again in Europe, it is necessary to research and critically present the appalling driving forces of National Socialism and its deadly racism."

Historian Christian Hartmann, who worked on the text, said in January the intention in publishing the book was to "to show how Hitler mixed truths and half-truths with lies – to take the sting out of the propaganda at the same time as laying Nazism bare".

Its popularity has taken the publisher by surprise with an animated debate raging in Germany over whether it should be reprinted at all.

Jewish groups have not objected to the republication of the book. Josef Schuster, president of Germany's main Jewish group the Central Council of Jews said he hopes the critical edition will "contribute to debunking Hitler's inhuman ideology and counteracting anti-Semitism."

Hitler's own personal copy of Mein Kampf, discovered in the dictator's personal library after his death in 1945, was sold for almost $30,000 (£20,800) in November having being valued at almost $100,000.

Publié dans Articles de Presse

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