Originally posted on jta.org on January 3, 2017
(JTA) — The annotated edition of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” sold 85,000 copies in the one year since it was released in print for the first time since World War II.
“Hitler, Mein Kampf: A Critical Edition” is in its eighth printing, according to the Spiegel newspaper, which noted that the book topped its best-seller list in April.
The 70-year copyright in the German state of Bavaria of the anti-Semitic tract, whose title means “My Struggle,” expired on Jan. 1, 2016, allowing it to be published in the country. The publication was controversial: Some Jewish groups endorsed the annotated edition and others opposed it.
The Munich Institute for Contemporary History said it published the book to preempt uncritical and unannotated versions, and that it hoped the new edition would help destroy the book’s cult status. Its first run of 4,000 sold almost immediately, the German dpa news agency reported.
“It turned out that the fear the publication would promote Hitler’s ideology or even make it socially acceptable and give neo-Nazis a new propaganda platform was totally unfounded,” institute director Andreas Wirsching said in a statement to dpa.
“To the contrary, the debate about Hitler’s worldview and his approach to propaganda offered a chance to look at the causes and consequences of totalitarian ideologies, at a time in which authoritarian political views and right-wing slogans are gaining ground.”
Other editions of “Mein Kampf” remain available for purchase via the internet.