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Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf to be re-published in Germany in 2016

world Updated: Feb 26, 2015 18:35 IST
Adolf Hitler

Dictator Adolf Hitler's manifesto "Mein Kampf" will return to bookstores in Germany for the first time since the end of World War II with a new annotated edition of the book to be published next year.

The book that once served as a kind of Nazi bible, banned from domestic reprints since the end of World War II, will soon be returning to German bookstores from the Alps to the Baltic Sea.

Researchers at the Munich Institute for Contemporary History (IfZ) plan to publish the annotated edition of Hitler's infamous book 'Mein Kampf' (My Struggle) in January 2016 after its copyright runs out this year -- 70 years following the author's death.

IfZ deputy director Magnus Brechtken said that the two-volume new edition will contain 2,000 pages.

Just 780 of those will contain Hitler's original 27 chapters, while the rest will be made up of around 5,000 comments from researchers, an introduction and the index, the Local reported.

The State of Bavaria, which inherited the rights to the 1925 book from the Nazis' Franz-Eher Publishing House, has had a complex relationship with the project.

It promised 500,000 euros of funding in 2012, before Bavarian minister-president Horst Seehofer reconsidered the move after a trip to Israel.

He said at the time that "I can't apply for a ban on the (neo-Nazi) NPD (at the Supreme Court) in Karlsruhe and at the same time support the publication of 'Mein Kampf' with the state coat of arms."

A gathering of justice ministers from all the German states decided last year that it should remain forbidden to publish non-annotated copies of "Mein Kampf".

Anyone publishing unedited versions will face a prosecution for incitement to hatred, they said.

But they did not make a firm decision on the status of annotated copies like the one proposed by the Institute, although a spokeswoman for the Bavarian justice ministry said such a work should be legal under certain conditions.

Critics of the move are aghast because the book is coming out at a time of rising anti-Semitism in Europe and as the English and other foreign-language versions of 'Mein Kampf' - unhindered by the German copyrights - are in the midst of a global renaissance.

'Mein Kampf' was drafted by Hitler in a Bavarian jail after the failed Nazi uprising in Munich in November 1923. It was initially published in two volumes in 1925 and 1926, with later, joint editions forming a kind of Nazi handbook.