- By Mehmet Ibrahim
For the first time in 70 years, Adolf Hitler’s Nazi manifesto Mein Kampf is to be available to buy in Germany as well as many other nations
Reprinting the anti-Semitic book was banned after WW2 by Bavaria’s regional government, which held the copyright.
The copyright has now expired as of New Year’s day 2016, and Munich’s Institute of Contemporary History is to publish a new edition.
New versions are expected in many countries. Historians say the book helps academics understand what happened in the Nazi era.
It’s annotated version, with thousands of academic notes, will aim to show that Mein Kampf (My Struggle) is incoherent and badly written, rather than powerful or seductive.
Many Jewish groups have welcomed this particular publication, saying it is important to have access to a critical edition to help explain the Holocaust, reports the BBC’s Damien McGuinness in Berlin.
However not all of the newly printed copies will be annotated. Indeed there are no legal restrictions of publication or promotion in many countries now than the Bavarian regional government no longer owns any legal rights.
Mein Kampf was originally printed in 1925, eight years before Hitler came to power.
After Nazi Germany was defeated in 1945, the Allied forces handed the copyright to the book to the state of Bavaria.
The local authorities have refused to allow the book to be reprinted to prevent incitement of hatred, although the book was so widely printed during the war that it remained relatively easily available.
Under European copyright law, the rights of an author of a literary or artistic work runs for the life of the author and for 70 years after his death, in Hitler’s case on 30 April 1945, when he shot himself in his bunker in Berlin.
Those rights cease on the first day of January 70 years after the author’s death, and so publishers now have free access to the original text.
However, German officials have said they will limit public access to the text amid fears that this could stir neo-Nazi sentiment.
Many European countries and the USA saw a dramatic rise in far-right sentiment during 2015.