New edition of Hitler’s Mein Kampf sells like hotcakes in Germany

  • PTI, Berlin
  • Updated: Jan 11, 2016 15:12 IST
A copy of "Hitler, Mein Kampf – A critical edition" stands on a display table in a book shop in Munich, Germany. (AP Photo)

Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s autobiography Mein Kampf, whose new annotated version hit bookstores in Germany last week, has been an instant sell out with one copy put up for re-sale online for a whopping 10,000 euros.

Hitler’s racist tome Mein Kampf returned to German bookshop shelves briefly on Friday as demand far outstripped supply of the first new edition published in the country since the end of the Second World War.

Publication of the work has split the Jewish community and a British historian warned that the annotated two-volume box set risked elevating the dictator’s demented rambling to the status of a literary great. Despite the 59 euros cover price, more than 15,000 advance orders were placed, nearly four times the initial print run of 4,000, The Times reported.

Demand was so high at Dussmann, Berlin’s biggest bookshop, that it had sold even its display copy by noon. It received 20 copies but had 50 orders, the report said.

One entrepreneur, sensing that the publisher, the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich, had created a collector’s item, put his copy up for re-sale on for 9,999.99 euros.

Hitler wrote Mein Kampf, which means ‘My Struggle’, in jail after the failed 1923 coup attempt known as the Beer Hall Putsch in Munich. It set out his ultra-nationalist, anti-semitic and anti-communist ideology.

The state of Bavaria acquired a 70-year copyright after Hitler’s death and refused all modern republication, although it declined to try to extend a ban after it expired.

“At a time when the well-known formulae of far-right xenophobia are threatening to become socially acceptable again in Europe, it is necessary to research and critically present the appalling driving forces of National Socialism and its deadly racism,” Andreas Wirsching, director of the Institute of Contemporary History, was quoted as saying.

Three years were spent producing the 1,948-page ‘Hitler, Mein Kampf: A Critical Edition’, with 3,500 notes.

“This edition exposes the false information spread by Hitler, his downright lies and his many half-truths, which aimed at a pure propaganda effect,” Wirsching said.

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