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January 18th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

Jewish groups split over reprinting of 'Mein Kampf' excerpts in Germany

By Christopher Cottrell, CNN

BERLIN (CNN) -Jewish groups in Germany and abroad are divided about a British publishing house's intentions to print excerpts of Adolf Hitler's infamous manifesto "Mein Kampf."

Slated to hit the shelves in Germany January 26, it will be the first time that any parts of the book have been reprinted in a newspaper or magazine in that country since the end of World War II.

Alexander Luckow, an adviser to British publisher Peter McGee - the man behind the magazine that will print the excerpts - said the former German dictator's writings would appear directly adjacent to commentaries from renowned historians to ensure that the passages are viewed in context.

"We're convinced that what we're doing is protected under citation laws," Luckow told CNN. "These laws permit citation of 'Mein Kampf,' especially when it is accompanied by historical commentary like we're doing."

Luckow said the weekly Zeitungszeugen magazine - a play on the German words for newspaper and witness - plans to publish three 15-page extracts as supplemental inserts.

According to Israel's Jerusalem Post, the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dieter Graumann, said Tuesday it was preferable for Germans to read annotated excerpts of Hitler's writings in an academic context rather than accessing the unfiltered material online.

"I can truly do without the publication of this hate-filled book that is saturated with anti-Semitism to the core," Graumann told the paper. "(But) if one must actually read it, then it's better in the framework of a critical commentary."

While some historians expressed few qualms with the announcement that parts of the book would be reprinted in Germany, a group representing Holocaust survivors and their families is questioning the value of publishing the excerpts.

"We want to make clear that there is nothing altruistic in the motivation of this publisher," said Elan Steinberg, vice president of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendents. "He's out to make a profit."

"There is a reason that the public display of the swastika is illegal in Germany," Steinberg added. "For these same historic and moral reasons, it is offensive to think that kiosks in Berlin will again - 70 years after the end of that evil regime - be selling Hitler's 'Mein Kampf.'"

Hitler wrote the book from prison after his failed Beer Hall Putsch of 1923, outlining his anti-Semitic ideology.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no law in Germany forbidding the publishing of "Mein Kampf," but the Bavarian state government - which owns the publishing copyright - has always blocked reprints.

These rights, however, are set to expire in 2015, which will then allow anyone to publish the entire volume or excerpts. The Institute for Contemporary History in Munich is already preparing a scholarly edition of the book set to come out that year, according to Dr. Edith Raim, who is working on the project.

"There's no reason to prolong the inevitable," Luckow said of McGee's decision to publish the excerpts this month.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Germany • Judaism

soundoff (410 Responses)
  1. Prior

    "Blessed are the Ori."

    January 19, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  2. Franz Liebkind

    You know, not many people knew about it, but the Fuhrer vas a terrific dancer

    January 19, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • palintwit

      If he was alive today, he'd be dating Michelle Bachmann.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • AWOL Dubya

      His goose-step rhumba was to die for.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Franz Liebkind

      Nein! He vould be dating that Aryan witchy vixen Christine O'Donnell.

      Und now for the most annoying video ever:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teRtooEScy4&feature=related

      January 19, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  3. Mad American

    Jews are the reason for our bad economy and everything bad happening in our nations. 90% of the 1% wealthy are Jews. They control our government and media, and own most things. They are the reason why there is war on Christmas and war on Christian faith and belief. TERRIBLE!!!!

    January 19, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Jon

      You must have had a sad, abusive, uneducated childhood to spew such hate!!!!

      January 19, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • palintwit

      Rupert Murdoch isn't jewish.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • AWOL Dubya

      I take it the 'mad' means insane.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  4. Luisa

    Damn Hi.tler why did you have to committ suicide :/ Not fair! We need you now

    January 19, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • YoursIsNoDisgrace

      Don't worry, you still have your new testament to spew your hatred.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • AWOL Dubya

      Don't worry – we have neo-cons.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  5. YoursIsNoDisgrace

    That's freedom. We need to hear what the mutants say

    January 19, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
  6. K2

    The publisher has the right to print excerpts from Mein Kampf or the entire book if he wishes. I can understand why Jews would not want this to happen, but that doesn't mean they have the right to try and stop it. Whether they like it or not, Mein Kampf, although controversial, is an irrefutable part of history. If people want to read it and the publisher makes money, then ok. If people don't want to read it and the publisher doesn't make any money, then ok to that as well.

    January 19, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • Bill

      There's actually two issues here. First, is the moral issue that you bring up with hiding from history. That's fine but you have to understand how sensative the German are about this. It's not about hiding from their history, but they still don't know what to make of it. The second issue is a legal one: the publisher doesn't have a right to publish it in Germany because the Bavarian government owns the copyright.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  7. palintwit

    Required reading for all baggers, birthers and evangelicals.

    January 19, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • SeparationofChurchandState

      Don't forget that Goebbels' teachings are the basis for their fear-mongering propaganda...

      January 19, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • palintwit

      That is correct. Think of the biggest lie that you can, and then just keep repeating it. Eventually everyone believes you. Just like on Fox News.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
  8. Jazzy

    There's holocaust still today... Jews kills innocent Christian and Muslim Palestinians in Israel 🙁

    January 19, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • K2

      They've put the Palestinians behind walls and fences as was once done to them, but that's "justified", right...

      January 19, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  9. Joel

    Holocaust is FAKE! Jews just want money from Germany to live off from the government and steal money

    January 19, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Jon

      You must have had a sad, abusive, uneducated childhood to spew such hate!!!

      January 19, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • You're Dumb

      explain all the pictures, historical sites, and testimonial? Ya... you lose.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • SeparationofChurchandState

      That's why Eisenhower made it a point to take film and photo of it call, because "Someday some dumb SOB is going to try to say that this didnt happen"..... Today that dumb SOB is you Joel.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I guess serial number tattoos were just de rigeur for jewish people in the 40s.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Bill

      I know people who liberated some of those camps. They saw it for themselves...it happened.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
  10. NY

    Thank God 6 million Jewish people died on the holocaust.... otherwise the world would have been much worse today!!

    January 19, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • K2

      That's an awful comment.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Otto Partz

      Hey! – my grandfather died in a concentration camp.

      He fell off the guard tower and broke his neck.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Jon

      You must have had a sad, abusive, uneducated childhood to spew such hate!!!!!

      January 19, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Jon

      Gee you must have had a sad, abusive, uneducated childhood to spew such hate!!!

      January 19, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • YoursIsNoDisgrace

      Hey NY: google "may his bones be ground into dust"

      January 19, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • gummerefg

      The world is worse because of people like you.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Jon

      @NY!!! What part of "NEVER AGAIN" do you Jew hating idiots not understand!!! In the past it was easy for you weak, pathetic, people to persecute and slaughter Jews!!! Jews prior to World War 2 did nothing to stop it from happening!!! However, since World War 2, the Jews additude toward you weak, pathetic people has changed!!! The Jews fight back with one thought running through there head, "if I am going down, I will take out as many of you Jew hating people as I possibly can before you take me down!!! Remember that before you shoot your mouths off!!!

      January 19, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  11. Prior

    All hail the Ori!

    January 19, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
  12. flyonthewall

    Some of my "best friends" are people...........heck I don't have any friends..........therefore I can hate all people!

    January 19, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
  13. smelly

    why are there no t!ts in this article?

    January 19, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
  14. us1776

    Writings of a madman.

    Just what the world needs.

    .

    January 19, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • SeparationofChurchandState

      Freedom of speech.... what the world needs most.

      Those who don't educate themselves with history are bound to repeat it.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      I total agree.... like there is not foundation for separation of church and state or the historicy of the gospels and the books of Acts.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  15. J Zamora

    So after almost killing all the European population that was non Aryan, how is that whole Muslim thing working out for you? Old enemies die hard or will you all be converting to Islam & be giving up Swine and Fermented Alcohol.

    January 19, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
  16. TheMovieFan

    Republicans can buy plenty of copies here in the US.

    January 19, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Bill

      I reject that sort of fear mongering crap. Just because the GOP disagrees with you doesn't mean they are Nazis. You sound like the kind of person who would wipe out the GOP and allow the Democrats rule the US forever. That sounds a lot like what the Nazis did in the 30's. We need both parties. Both have good ideas and both make arguments against the other that we need to here. But those arguments need to be constructive, and not based on fear.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  17. ThewayIseeit

    The following is generalities, because I have Jewish friends and they are very fine people, but for the most part I think the Jewish community is a very prejudice ethnic group of people who think that they are better than most other people, that is the gentiles. After all, they are “smarter and richer.”
    Jews do not want the world to forget what happened in the Holocaust, but “[explicative], you had better not publish anything that happened in the Holocaust.” They don’t what anyone to make any money on what happened because of the suffering of their fore-bearers , but they sure want to build museums and charge people to come and view the horrible relics, photos and other historical artifacts that were associated with the Holocaust. They built the Museum of Tolerance in L.A. and then “begged” people to come and see what happened “To us.”, “How horrible the natzies were!” and “How the Jew were persecuted.” But just accuse their ancestors of crucifying Jesus and they come apart, they didn’t do it, it was the Romans. Yeah, well who urged the Romans to do it?" (In reality, the whole sinful fallen race of humanity is responsible for the death of Christ.)
    They don’t want people to “make money” on their ethnic curiosities, but boy! do they like the money they make on Christian holidays, i.e. Christmas etc.
    They complain about being persecuted, but look at the contemptuous way they, as a ethnic group, treat gentiles.
    They like to tout about their charitable giving, but let me tell you they would’t give a dime if they didn’t think that in some way it was going to benefit them in some way. I gasped one time when I heard a Jew say, “Oh”, course we are better. Look we have the money because we are smarter so we can give it to the poor gentile, because in the first place, he does’nt have the brains to make money, so we will just “ help him out.” What arrogance!
    I even heard the audacity of one Jew say to a Christian one time, “If anyone has the right to heaven, its the Jews, because we are a “chosen” people.” What kind of bigotry is that?
    I think it was a big mistake when the U.N. gave the Jews a “Home Land” in Palestine because it has caused more trouble that it solved, and they groan about that.
    I guess I’ve ranted enough for right now.

    January 19, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Ironicus

      Pray continue, Herr Ratzenberger. We know it must be boring for you in the Vatican surrounded by your swastikas.
      Swastikas don't talk back do they? Very boring, yes.

      Some Jews are racist, some more, some less. You are racist more than many people, just as bad as those racist Jews you quote, although I have my doubts as to whether they are actual quotes and not just made up to fool idiots like you.

      You rant and show yourself to be an easily fooled hypocrite, who rails against racist Jews in a bigoted, racist manner of your own.

      Don't tell me...let me guess....you're a Christian. That just says it all. If you were a Buddhist, would you even give a crap?

      January 19, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Johnny

      I'm not sure your Jewish friends will be your friends much longer if they ever read your comment.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • P.Y.

      I sincerely hope,your "Jewish friends" know what you think about them.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Rib15

      When someone starts by saying "some of my best friends are ", you can pretty much bet that what follows will be a bigoted rant against that selfsame group.

      That's just the way it is.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • neoritter

      @Ironicus – Do you even know what you're talking about? Ratzenberger?
      I'll tell you what's ironic. Arguing against someone being a bigot by being a bigot.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Aaron

      It appears, through your comment, that Hitler and you would have seen eye to eye. I don't believe for a second that you have any Jewish friends, based on your false description of them.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Fred

      I agree with your comment and people may not like it, but its the reality.They now practice in a gentler kinder way, if you will, what Hitler did to them to the Palestinians. They just say they are protecting themselves from terrorism.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • TexasEK

      Really? How impressive your insights into the Jewish mindset are! As a Jewish woman, I had no idea that I thought I was better than everyone else, richer or smarter, but thanks to you and your exceptional stereotyping abilities, now I know better. I guess this means I can quit one of the two jobs I'm working just to maintain my modest, 2-bedroom home.

      Oh mighty thewayIseeit, thank you for opening my eyes. You are so wise and I can't imagine anyone ever tiring of your brilliant opinions.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Marsha

      As a jewish person, (jew, if you prefer) I feel that if we don't teach our children about our history we will most certainly repeat it. The superior comment ThewayIseeit made is hilarious. I make just above minimum, my total assests as of today are around $200.00, and I am most definitely not better than anyone else. Publish this and any other work of literature if you please. No hurt feelings here.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • SurelyUjest

      I have many, Israeli friends who actually may agree with some of the statements in your rant. I too agree with many of the principles behind the points you are making. Yes, Some Jews think they are the chosen ones.....usually American Jews, Yes some Jews ONLY give to charitiy if it can some how be a tax write off or it ends up going to "poor Jew" families usually in Isreal where there still are rich jews and poor jews. IN America it is almost exclusively the later and I can understand your statements but their are many many jews with differering views and really I think it is wrong to lump them together. That said Mein Kampf is history it is dark history but is just as important on the second book EVER mass published on the printing press. That is Malleus Maleficarum a book commonly called the Witches Hammer and was used by Christians in Europe to burn or persecute non-Christians....so yes history is dark but we need it so we can NOT repeat these atrocities.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Ironicus

      neoritter, I left that in for you.

      You like the irony? Yet I am not a racist, so it's not quite the same thing. I'm bigoted against religions, not the followers.

      Racism comes from ignorance and stupidity.
      I already know you're a racist and a bigot about many things from your other posts.

      I would also guess that you are this "ThewayIseeit" person, otherwise you wouldn't call yourself "neoritter" in the first place.
      So I really don't care what you think about my hate for religious idiocy.
      Only Christians and Muslims hate Jews for being Jews.

      Everyone else uses different reasons to hate any individual Jew as an individual, not a representative of a "race" that does not exist in real life. Making blanket statements about a group of people without evidence is bigotry.

      Only the religious are blinded by their religion.
      Other people on the outside can look at the insanity and see it for what it is, not what some propagandist fooled them into seeing, assuming they aren't gullible about that sort of thing in the first place....like you.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Peter

      The unrepentant Jew, they still think they are Gods chosen people. They murdered Him. He annihilates them with Roman legions. He drives them into the four corner of the earth. Every city in Europe murders them in their town squares for almost 2000 years. Then one man rises up to finish them off once and for all. And when all is said and done and liberation arrives the first word out of their mouth is, "Their is on God". They were the chosen. Take a good look at the end of sinners. Every one opposed to Christ should be studying his chosen people, Gods object lesson for an unrepentant world.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Foghorn Leghorn

      You don't really have any friends, now do you?

      January 19, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • ThewayIseeit

      The first Jewish person I ever knew was while attending high school in a small community. About the middle of the term a new person showed up. Because I was “a lower class student I never did get to know the guy very well, he was an upper class student. He was very popular at first with both the girls and boys. But after a while I noticed that he was not so popular any longer. I ask one of the girls why nobody seemed to talk to him much anymore: What had happened? She very curtly answered, “Have you ever heard the guy talk?” I told her “...not much, Why?” She responded, “He’s full of himself.”
      After I was out of school I had the opportunity to work in Beverly Hills Calif. The place is full of Jewish people. I got so I resented most all of them, they were so arrogant and cynical and money was more important to them than anything else. (I learned why I didn’t like Gracho Marx, (however his name is spelled) I never liked his cynical remarks, always putting down the contestants on his show, which I didn’t like and didn’t watch his show unless I was at a friend’s house: and then I learned he was Jewish and that seemed to explain it all.) I don’t know much about the ones that are really religious, the ones I knew were very secular and foul mouthed. I always thought it was kind’a ironical, they sure swore on the name of “jesus christ” a lot and they didn’t even believe in him. Maybe I just need a different exposure with better Jewish people, because the ones I knew, most of them I didn’t like.

      January 19, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  18. AlC

    To those who love truth we offer a different understanding. Our understanding is not based on media reports but on the Word of God. People are outraged when they hear oru message even though this country is founded on freedom of religion and freedom of speech. Why do people get angry when somebody presents their belief? Check out our website at http://www.Hear-The-Truth.com

    January 19, 2012 at 11:58 am |
  19. Doc Vestibule

    Oy Bookfreeder!
    Those that want to read the book can do so – we don't need further, random excerpts.
    Thanks for the effort though.

    January 19, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Ironicus

      "Oy"?
      Doc, you need to work on that accent a little more. It sounded like you said, "Oi"... 😀

      January 19, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  20. bookfreeder

    "In the ranks of the movement [National Socialist movement], the most devout Protestant could sit beside the most devout Catholic, without coming into the slightest conflict with his religious convictions. The mighty common struggle which both carried on against the destroyer of Aryan humanity had, on the contrary, taught them mutually to respect and esteem one another."

    -Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf)

    January 19, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • Ironicus

      Yes, the Lutherans and the Catholics made common cause against the Jews in Hitler's Germany with the Pope's blessing and the guidance of Martin Luther's anti-Jew tracts.
      Such was the fanaticism of the Christians against the "Christ-killers" (Jews) in much of Europe.

      January 19, 2012 at 11:22 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.

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