Should Mein Kampf Be Un-Banned in Germany?

Adolf Hitler’s notorious Mein Kampf (My Struggle), a manifesto posing as autobiography, has long been banned from German bookshelves “out of a responsibility and respect for the victims of the Holocaust.” But 83 years after it was first published, some Germans argue it should be made available again in order to drain it of whatever power it might still have.

A debate over the book is slowly growing in Germany, in part because Mein Kampf’s copyright, held by the state of Bavaria, will expire in 2015. Then the book will enter the public domain, and anyone will be able to reprint the text. Academics and officials who fear that a flood of new editions may be abused by far-right extremists are now demanding that a carefully researched and critical edition of the 800-page tome be prepared as a way to demystify it.

Full Story: Time

(via Hugh Scott Douglas)


  1. Recently there’s been a debate around the net about Random House pulling the plug on a fictional book written by author Sherry Jones about A’isha, Mohammad’s wife called “The Jewel of Medina”, for fear of violent backlash.
    I think as adults we all have a choice whether to read a book or not.

    IMO, and speaking as a child of a WWII vet, I think that the 800 page critical analysis of Mein Kampf (mentioned in the Time article) is a good idea. This is a part of history our elders have told us to “never forget”. Even if it’s not considered “acceptable literature”, it still serves as a window into the mind of a man who started two world wars which are an integral part of our (and Germany’s) history.

  2. First of all, banning books is just.. a horrible thing that can never be justified. Second, banning books is just horrible.. what is this? The Christian rule all over again. That is the one thing that annoys me about Europe.. the B.S. rules they have on free speech and religion. Religion in Europe, and the rules surrounding new religions, is such Bullshit.

  3. I’d like to see a decent annotated edition. I’ve never read it so I don’t know if it’s as “incomprehensible” as everyone says, but I think it would be extremely useful for readers who don’t have an extensive background in German history to understand what he said and why it was so powerful at the time.

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