Following the fall of the Nazi Regime, the publishing rights to Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ in Germany have been the ownership of the state of Bavaria, which obtained the copyright as part of the Allies’ de-Nazification program. Once Bavaria obtained the right, they barred further publication of the work. Since then, however, multiple groups and organizations have attempted to publish the work and battled in court to obtain the right. As of last week, Munich Institute of Contemporary History joins the list announcing the production of an annotated academic version which they believe will “take the wind out of the neo-Nazi sails.” The state of Bavaria responded stating that any attempt to publish the work will be met with legal action, holding that the work will only fuel the Neo-Nazi movement and increase racism in Germany. Bavaria’s hold on the copyright expires in 2015.
I believe the state of Bavaria is quite right in barring the publication of Hitler’s work. Although historians and teachers may themselves gain academic truth from the work, in the hands of the public the book will yield no academic or positive value. People all around the world understand what Hitler believed and the beliefs he expressed without reading ‘Mein Kampf.’ Instead of being used professionally, kids in Germany will buy the book trying to be popular or rebellious and will absorb the information within. The result will be a rise in the Neo-Nazi movement from the youth which will only harm attempts at breaking the chains of racism and xenophobia