Hitler’s Mein Kampf – level 3
A book accused of spawning the beginning of Nazi Germany 90 years ago, Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”, or “My Struggle”, has been republished by Germany with mixed reactions.bMany have argued that the republishing of the text is inflammatory and racist, but the biographers behind the release say it is a useful educational tool.
Hitler wrote Mein Kampf in Lansberg prison in 1925 ,and 90 years later, copyright on the text, which was banned by the Allies at the end of World War Two, has expired, opening the way for this critical edition with explanatory sections and over 3,500 critical annotations.
“That’s exactly what we are doing, de-constructing Hitler, the Hitler myth and also the racism and ideology underlying all his political arguments.”
On Friday, the 2,000-page, two-volume work went on sale after about three years of labour by scholars at Munich’s Institute for Contemporary History.
Auschwitz survivor Ziggy Shipper is appalled that Mein Kampf is back in print.
“I just feel bad about it, you know, because I wouldn’t like to see. You know the worst thing is, not even reading but if I were to walk by a bookshop or something and see that book… I’d feel bad. Kampf might cause more racism or anti-Semitism.”
But students at a Berlin school had mixed reactions to the reprint.
“I think it should be re-published. I think it’s important that we learn from our mistakes that we made in the past. I don’t think anybody would take Mein Kampf seriously any more because it was written in a different time.”
“It should be not re-published in Germany because we have such a big movement at the moment that is going to sympathise with the people that are against immigrants.”
“Well I think it should definitely be discussed in school, but I think a public access to the book is not healthy.”
Whatever your opinion, the publication is a big step for Germany, which still struggles with the legacy of the Nazi era and the Holocaust.
Difficult words: spawn (to give start to), inflammatory (making you feel angry), explanatory (sections which explain something), annotation (a comment), volume (a book which is part of a series), labour (work), scholar (a specialist in a branch of study), Auschwitz (a Nazi concentration camp), appall (being horrified), struggle (to have problems with), legacy (something which is passed for generations), Holocaust (the mass murder of Jews under the German Nazi regime).
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