Germany clears way for Mein Kampf reissue

By Tony Paterson in Berlin

Bavaria has cleared the way for Adolf Hitler's manifesto Mein Kampf to be published in Germany for the first time since World War II.

The state owns the copyright and had blocked attempts to publish a new German-language edition, fearing it would encourage a resurgence of the far right. However, the copyright expires next year.

Plans to republish the book with an academic commentary early in 2016 were approved in 2012, but last December the idea was blocked after Holocaust survivors complained. Bavaria then said the book should never appear in print in German.

"We have changed our minds," said Minister of Culture Ludwig Spaenle on Thursday.

Bavaria had supported the academic version with 500,000 ($825,976) funding. But now it will withdraw its financial support, and the book is expected to be published by Munich's Institute of Contemporary History.

Some members of the Bavarian legislature had been angered by the state's decision to block the annotated version.

After decades of opposition, Germany's Central Council of Jews also swung in favour of an academic version of Mein Kampf.

Stefan Kramer, the council's general secretary, said the internet had made him change his views. "It is very important that young people should see the critical version when they click on to Mein Kampf on the web," he said. The book has been available in translation and in countries outside Germany for decades.

Hitler wrote Mein Kampf (My Struggle) in 1924 while serving a four-year prison term. It contains his views on racial purity, his hatred of communists and Jewsand hints at his plans for the Holocaust.

- Independent

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