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‘Mein Kampf’ Is the Hottest Book in Germany

British historian Sir Ian Kershaw speaks at the presentation of the new critical edition of Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" at the Institut fuer Zeitgeschichte (Institute for Contemporary History)on January 8, 2016 in Munich, Germany. The new edition, which augments Hitler's original text with critical analysis, is the first new publication of the book in Germany since World War II. The state of Bavaria held the copyright to the book and prohibited publication, though the copyright expired on January 1 of this year. Adolf Hitler wrote "Mein Kampf", which is both an autobiography and a presentation of his political views, while he was a prisoner in Germany in the 1920s.British historian Sir Ian Kershaw speaks at the presentation of the new critical edition of Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" at the Institut fuer Zeitgeschichte (Institute for Contemporary History)on January 8, 2016 in Munich, Germany. The new edition, which augments Hitler's original text with critical analysis, is the first new publication of the book in Germany since World War II. The state of Bavaria held the copyright to the book and prohibited publication, though the copyright expired on January 1 of this year. Adolf Hitler wrote "Mein Kampf", which is both an autobiography and a presentation of his political views, while he was a prisoner in Germany in the 1920s.
A critical edition of Hitler's "Mein Kampf," published by Munich's Institute for Contemporary History.Photograph by Johannes Simon — Getty Images

A critical edition of Mein Kampf reportedly sold out almost immediately after being republished in Germany.

The new version was published by Munich’s Institute for Contemporary History, Telegraph reports. Scholars from the institute had been working on it for three years, but weren’t legally allowed to publish the critical edition until now. A copyright for the manifesto was held by Bavaria, but it expired at the beginning of this year.

The institute initially printed just 4,000 copies, not nearly enough to fill the 15,000 advance orders it received. They first became available in German bookstores on Jan. 8. One copy, which had been purchased for 59 euros, or about $64, is reportedly being resold on Amazon for 9,999.99 euros, about $10,867.

Mein Kampf, which translates to “My Struggle,” was written by Adolf Hitler in 1924 when he was in jail for treason. Partially autobiographical, the controversial book outlines his political ideology and plans for the future of Germany.

 

In anticipation of the copyright’s expiration, president of the Central Council for Jews in Germany, Dr. Joseph Schuster, released a statement saying that the group does “not object to a critical edition,” such as the annotated version published by the institute, but it does want non-annotated versions of “Hitler’s scorning propaganda” to be blocked from publication.

The book is expected to soon go on sale in France, which Roger Cukierman, president of the Council of Jewish Institutions in France, has called “a disaster.”