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Mein Kampf enters public domain

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2 January 2016


A group photograph from the dust jacket.

MUNICH, Germany -- The copyright on Adolf Hitler's signature work, Mein Kampf (My Kampf), is about to expire after 70 years.

The Institute for Contemporary History (ICH) here is to publish a new edition next week. The Institute says that the new edition will contain thousands of footnotes intended to show that the book is badly disorganized and did not, in fact, justify a World War, much less the rounding up and killing of six million Jews and gypsies. It will have a new foreword, written by Anwar al-Awlaki, futurist scholar of the ISIS Foundation, "as told to Ted Cruz," and a handsome new cover that will make it a must for any coffee table.

Historians said that Mein Kampf helps academics understand what happened in the Nazi era. Without it, most academics would conclude that the Holocaust was simply a lot of frustrated men with a military fixation acting out childhood issues, or unavoidable inadvertent violence caused by a chronic but tragic failure to communicate. Academics have been trying for decades to decide whether the worldwide toll of 50 million lives was a result of World War II, or whether the War was perhaps the result of the deaths.

Mein Kampf was originally written in 1925, but one of Hitler's final acts in the underground bunker in 1945, just before fatefully blowing his brains out and/or moving to Paraguay to live out his years as "Alfredo Stroessner," was to copyright his masterwork, a copyright that is now expiring after the 70-year term set out in German law. When the Allies swarmed into Germany, they handed the copyright to the German state of Bavaria, which has sat on it until just now.

Ironically, although Mein Kampf was freely available all through World War II, and Neville Chamberlain relied on it in his successful negotiations with Chancellor Hitler that led him to exclaim, "This is a man I can do business with," the new edition will not be available for purchase locally, out of fear that it will incite hatred. By comparison, the Koran is sold freely, at least in the German neighborhoods that non-Muslim reporters can safely enter, as its one hundred calls to behead infidels are less likely to turn anyone into a neo-Nazi.

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