A new German edition of Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf, consisting only of the original text without “commentary”—has provoked a hysterical reaction in Germany and the publisher has already had their PayPal account cancelled.
According to the publisher, a company called “The Rogue” (Der Schelm) in Leipzig, the new edition will call on Germans to “have the courage to judge the book for themselves.”
In a swipe at the “official” edition, Der Schelm said that its edition was being published without thousands of “annotations.”
On its website, Der Schelm states that this printing will allow for “critical assessment” should readers “have the courage to make [their] own judgment.”
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Mein Kampf entered the public domain in Germany for the first time in January this year, and the previous copyright owners—the Bavarian state government—decided to release an “official edition” containing thousands of footnotes to refute all of the claims made in the book.
However, the publication opened a can of worms for the German government—because it effectively set the precedent for anyone else to publish the book as well.
Der Schelm became the first publisher in over 70 years to publish the book in Germany.
German prosecutors are now looking into the possibility of pressing charges against Der Schelm on the grounds that it violates Germany’s law against the distribution of “Nazi propaganda.”
However, the fact that the Bavarian state has already published the book in Germany has created a serious problem for the lawyers—who will now have to prove that the “annotations” made the book safe to publish under the law.
On its website, Der Schelm states that this printing will allow for “critical assessment” should readers “have the courage to make [their] own judgment[s].”
The publisher has sought to meet all strictures of the law, stating that it distances itself from “any passages which might be slanderous, hateful, or offensive to human dignity, particularly with reference to those containing criticism of Judaism.”
Publication date is set for “Summer 2016” but the announcement has already caused a storm.
Several condemnatory articles have appeared in the controlled media, both locally and internationally, but all have had to face the reality that the precedent set by the Bavarian state has made it extremely difficult to prosecute anyone else for publishing the book.
Der Schelm’s website made the announcement that Paypal had cancelled its account, remarking that this “felt like democracy in action.”
The publisher also reprinted an exchange of correspondence he had with an investigative reporter from the BLÖD-Zeitung:
“I am sure that in spite of the civic education I have received since the beginning of my schooling in 1974, the average citizen will be able to see through the insidious racial nature of Mein Kampf without our enlightened intellectuals’ and high-born historians—Jehovah protect them—providing any explanatory help.”
The book is being sold for €30 on Der Schelm’s web bookshop.