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After 67 years, Hitler's Mein Kampf to return to Germany

Last updated on: April 26, 2012 12:10 IST

After 67 years, Hitler's Mein Kampf to return to Germany

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Adolf Hitler's autobiography Mein Kampf, not printed in Germany for the last 67 years amid fears that it might promote Nazism, is set to return to the country's schools.

German authorities announced that when the copyright to the hate-filled book expires in three years' time, an 'annotated' version will be made available to students across the country.

Mein Kampf, which translates as My Struggle or My Battle, combines elements of autobiography and Adolf Hitler's political ideology.

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Image: A copy of Mein Kampf, The Vol 1 (of 2), First Edition, signed by Adolph Hitler
Photographs: Getty Images

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The state of Bavaria in Germany, which became the heir to all of Hitler's works, property and money following his suicide in Berlin in 1945, said it was important for Germany to publish versions for children with expert analysis and comments from historians in them which refute his ideology, the Daily Mail reported.

While the book is not illegal in Germany, the state has not allowed it to be printed amid fears that it could promote Nazism.


Image: During the days of the Third Reich the book sold more copies than the Bible


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After 67 years, Hitler's Mein Kampf to return to Germany

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Other countries have printed foreign-language editions since then, despite the restrictions but Germans have been unable to get a newly-printed version in their own language for 67 years.

But now Bavaria has given permission for the rest of Germany to freely print the book, with includes diatribes against Jews and Slavs and the prophecy of a German war of conquest in the east.


Image: The book 'Mein Kampf' by Adolf Hitler is pictured at the German Historical Museum
Photographs: Getty Images

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After 67 years, Hitler's Mein Kampf to return to Germany

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"The editions we plan will contain comments from experts that are clearly understandable to the young so they can clearly understand and therefore interpret the dangerous ideas within," Markus Soeder, Bavaria's finance minister was quoted by the daily as saying. "We will demystify this work," he said.

Recently Bavaria successfully saw off attempts by a British publisher to produce extracts of Hitler's book in magazine format.


Image: Adolf Hitler looks out of a barred window in Landsberg jail where he dictated his autobiography, Mein Kampf
Photographs: Getty Images

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After 67 years, Hitler's Mein Kampf to return to Germany

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The book was once a bigger seller during the days of the Third Reich than the Bible and royalties from it made Hitler incredibly wealthy.

With the rise of the Internet and numerous pirated copies of the work published abroad, Bavaria believes it is better to have some control over the work when the state loses its copyright than none at all.

Nevertheless, the book is an integral part of the study of the Third Reich and copies have sold for up to 30,000 pounds.


Image: A magazine supplement with an image of Adolf Hitler and the title 'The Unreadable Book' is pictured in Berlin January 26, 2012. Excerpts from Hitler's Mein Kampf were wiped from the magazine supplement before it went on sale in Germany following the threat of legal action from the state of Bavaria
Photographs: Reuters

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