September 14, 2008

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Should Hitler’s Book Be Published in Germany Again

April 29, 2008

Recently, there has been a call by German historians to republish Adolf Hitler’s infamous manifesto, “Mein Kampf,” in the country before the copyright lapses in 2015. The book’s publication has been banned in Germany since World War II, and its resale is regulated with an iron fist.

German copyright law says that an author’s work become public domain 70 years after his or her death. Hitler killed himself in his Berlin bunker on April 30, 1945, so that deadline is approaching quickly.

Before the arrival of that date, historians want Bavaria, which controls the copyright because Hitler’s last known, official address was in Munich, to authorize an annotated version of “Mein Kampf.”

Historians say that a thorough, academic presentation that places the book in a historical context would be the best defense against radical right-wing groups and neo-Nazis who might want to use the book to advance racist agendas.