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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. CJ

    In the United States of America we believe in the freemdom of press. I do not think it is wise to prevent a book from being published. One can read the book for hostorical reasons and may think Hitler was an insane antisemetic bigot or one could read it and agree with all or most of the content. People in Germany should have the right to read the book and decide for themselves.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  2. Stanley the Imam

    ALLAH AKBAR DAM-NIT!! Hitler is a hero of islam.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Jon

      @ Stanley!!! 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 2:03 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Why? And don't say because of the Jews....you will just be showing your vast ignorance about what Hitler thought about ppl who were not German.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Ironicus

      Hitler hated Muslims I would guess because most Muslims were not "Aryan" and so his whole "aryan" philosophy could never be used by Muslims at all unless they are "white aryan northern european caucasian etc" and Muslim.
      Islam is a religion, not an ethnic group, dumb-ass. They only act racist against the Jews, not other people, when they bother to act that way at all, which depends on their level of education, like in your case.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  3. Lycidas

    Eh..there was a time that blocking it's printing made sense. It helped keep back the chance of Nazism's return. But there is a time that to battle the hatred that help bring about the book and the results that book in turn brought, we should face it head long.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Anatomically Bombed

      "there was a time that blocking it's printing made sense. It helped keep back the chance of Nazism's return." No there wasn't, and no it didn't. There was a time it was blocked by senseless fear. It helped bring back the chance of Nazism's return by making the book itself a martyr. It' should have been opened and exposed to all so that everyone could see it's heartless and violent roots, instead it was given new status by being banned.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Ironicus

      It is other people's influence that is the cause, not the book.
      Just like a Bible is just a book, but it takes gullible idiots to believe it.
      Nazis were never wiped out, and racism has always been given a seat at the fire of narrow-minded ignorance.

      Having a book around does nothing.
      It is the continuation of bigotry that is spread from person to person that makes these things into a problem.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Bill

      Copyrights don't last forever. Mein Kampf isn't banned in Germany, it's just that Hitler's possessions went to the Bavarian government when he died, which means Bavaria owns the copyright to the book. Bavaria refuses to allow the book to be published, but the copyright is set to expire in a couple of years.

      January 19, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "by making the book itself a martyr"
      Eh...as one person on the boards said....it wasn't a very well written book. If it was and ppl wanted to read it, then maybe it could be a martyr.
      Also...other countries did produce it so one cannot say it was completely gone from public view.

      January 19, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  4. ObamaDIDit

    Hitler was a punk! so is anyone who follows his book! However I do agree with studying history to keep that kind of thing from happening again.

    Long live Israel! long live the Jewish people!
    Down with everyone who wants to harm jews!

    January 19, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • ObaManure

      you stinking smelly jew. I bet you voted for that nig ger.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  5. Chris K

    I reccomend book burnings of Mein Kampf... followed by Martial Law. Then they can gather up all of the trouble makers and put them in camps. We will show Hitler we are better than he was!!! Fight fire with fire...and facism with facism!

    January 19, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  6. Anatomically Bombed

    When I clicked on this article at first I thought it was giving me the answer to my earlier question: Is there a God?

    All that popped up was:

    Not Found
    Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn't here.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Lycidas

      You are an idiot.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Anatomically Bombed

      Says the man who believes in invisible fairys, a 6000 year old earth and talking snakes...

      January 19, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Ironicus

      Oh, here we go again...

      January 19, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Maximus Erectus

      Ironicus likes the snake I have in my pants.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Anatomically Bombed- "Says the man who believes...

      1) in invisible fairys: No I don't
      2) a 6000 year old earth, No I don't
      3) and talking snakes..., No I don't.

      Wow...you suck at this.
      And you are right Ironicus....here we go again with the guesswork of the foolish. It's so easy to shoot down their ill-conceived notions.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  7. DeeNYC

    as evil as he was it shouldn't stop the book from being published and discussed. the nuts that would use the book to promote hate already print out their own copies.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • I wash my buttplugs in your tea pitcher

      Hitler was a genius and was doing us all a favor by ridding the world of a pestilence and vermin.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  8. james hotz

    Hitler was a gentleman, he himself never killed anybody. And it was the Jews working for the Nazis who put thier own people in the stove.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Peter

      Ovens, moron.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  9. GetReal

    Words are actions. Printed words especially.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Get Real ..for real

      Reading Mein Kamf does not make someone a fascist but trying to censor it does make a fascist. What are you afraid of?

      January 19, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • TomJeff

      Huh? Ok then – burst into flames, you! (are these words actions?)

      January 19, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  10. TomJeff

    I don't get it. I have a whole shelf in my library devoted to controversial and "banned" books – Mein Kampf, Capital, The Wealth of Nations, Communist Manifesto, and others. It hasn't burst into flames yet. I don't understand why people are afraid of any book. I'm more afraid of people who would ban a book. No matter how vile or wrong a book is, they are only words and perhaps a window into a person's mind and soul. Isn't it better to understand, than to fear and ignore?

    BTW – large parts of Mein Kampf are boring and rambling. But there are a few incredible nuggets in it.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • William Demuth

      What is MOST fascinating is how Hitler links his actions directly to Christianity.

      So few Christians even have a CLUE about the truth of Hitlers religious views and his interactions with the Vatican.

      It seems everyone wants to claim he was an Athiest, but the book PROVES that is a lie.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Ironicus

      The problem with abnormal psychology is that "understanding" it from the viewpoint of the psychotic is only useful if you're a psychiatrist trying to treat a psychotic.
      Otherwise you risk being mentally affected by the insanity.

      You want to think of yourself as educated, yet those books are filled with fallacious arguments, psychotic and neurotic viewpoints, falsehoods, propaganda, and many errors in thinking and judgment, so you are not being "educated" but only brainwashed and will likely become messed up in the head at some point depending on what is written.

      So your "nuggets" are most likely to the the sort of "nuggets" one finds in a litter box. Get a damn clue!

      January 19, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Maximus Erectus

      Come over here Ironicus Idioticus and let me fill your mouth with love.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • TomJeff

      Ironicus – to deny me access to the printed word – anyone's printed word – based on your own judgement is the core of oppression and intolerance. You are no better than the Nazi's and any of the countless oppressors in the history of the world. In fact, you are what free people have been fighting and dying against for centuries. As a free person, I tell YOU to get lost. I don't care if get a clue.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Ironicus

      I see I have hurt the feelings of a racist. Better call 1-800-WAAAHH!

      And I am not banning your stupid worthless books, so go ahead and wallow like a pig in the filth you read.

      Suck up those nuggets out of the litter box! Go ahead! I'm not stopping you am I? Nope. I'll just sit back and laugh.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @TomJeff- Ignore Ironicus the Reading Impaired. He probably just got off work and is a bit cranky. What he is more upset about is that you had the audacity to respond and disagree with him instead of just keeping quiet or giving up your position and agreeing with him.
      He'll get upset again no doubt because I am telling the truth here.

      January 19, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • Ironicus

      No, no, you're close enough in spots. Nothing to get mad about. Or didn't you notice it wasn't ME that was getting mad in the first place?
      Yep, your reading skills lack a certain amount of accuracy as well. I laughed in my post and with my post.
      And, yes, if they had just gone away I wouldn't have had anything to respond to. You're right about that at least.

      January 19, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Yes..because a mind of peace & contentment comes up with, "Better call 1-800-WAAAHH!....Suck up those nuggets out of the litter box! Go ahead! I'm not stopping you am I? Nope. I'll just sit back and laugh."

      Yeah...you are not mad at all..lol.

      January 19, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
  11. james hotz

    Hitler was a genius ahead of his time, What would the world be like today if he had his way?

    January 19, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Well, most likely a radioactive ball of dust without any life on it?

      January 19, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Jon

      @ James!!! 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 1:43 pm |
  12. J. Freinheim

    Its true....he used Jewish (and other) slave labor to build those stealth planes, jet propulsion planes, missiles, etc. and used the same concentration camp victims for medical studies... I'm sure they learned alot about nutrition (and the consequences of a lack thereof) by starving innocent children and elderly. What a great guy.

    Great point, Alex. Why dont you walk in front of a bus.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  13. rob

    "Transparency -These writings are not much different from the views of the GOP and the Tea Party that's spreading their bigotry and hate and dividing America. I wish all of them were with Hitler right now" Did you just become Joseph Gerbals? Sounds like it. More generalized hate.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • STLBroker

      If what you say is true, then Stalin wasn't much different than Democrats. However, I don't think what you say is true. There was only one Hitler and lets hope that stays the case forever more. Unless there HAS to be another one before Christ will return. In that case, bring him on!

      January 19, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  14. Me

    Fascism is fascism no matter which side of the fence you stand on. Print it Germany. It is history and it is fact. It isn't a printed word that makes a fascist. It is actions. Censorship is fascism.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • TomJeff

      Well put, "you".

      January 19, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • MrBo

      Amen.

      If the text is not known, understanding of its heinous effects on history will be lost.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • STLBroker

      I agree. He that fails to learn from history is doomed to repeat it. "Banning" the book would be similar to "burning" it and we all know what monster in history advocated that.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  15. CH

    You can't just edit history and cut these things out. The more people now about him as a person, and his thoughts, the better the chance of it never happening again.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Dude in Colorado

      Well, CH – On the one hand you're right, you can't just edit history and if we try and delete entire segments from our history we're more likely to repeat them. On the other hand, Hitler's preternatural talent to mesmerize and audience makes the re-release this work deeply troubling and not just to Jews..

      January 19, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  16. Jon

    Hey!!! 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 1:36 pm |
    • opinion

      you are an idiot bigot yourself!!!!

      January 19, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Takin a Deuce

      Shut up nig ger. Now get in that oven with your jew friends.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Jon

      @opinion, @talkin!!! What's the matter??? The truth scares pathetic people like you!!! Dosen't it?!?!

      January 19, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  17. Takin a Deuce

    Since all jews are nig ger lovers they should be tossed in the ovens together.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Jon

      @ Takin!!! 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 1:37 pm |
    • Takin a Deuce

      Jon, PHUCK YOU!! Now GET IN THAT OVEN!!

      January 19, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Ironicus

      I see our Neo-Nazi troll is still around.
      What's wrong, turd? Isn't your "stormfront" website fun enough for you?

      January 19, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Scott

      classy

      January 19, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • STLBroker

      I think some of my past comments have been censored for saying stuff like "cr@p"..........and they allow comments like this? Come on CNN, ban these A holes.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  18. Karl Von Schnitzengroober

    HItler was a genius. I wish he was still living.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Jon

      @Karl!!! 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 1:39 pm |
    • Steve

      and you are a moron...big man hiding behind a blog...just like all nazis..little worms

      January 19, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Takin a Deuce

      Jon, you a smelly jew rat. Now...GET IN THAT OVEN!!!

      January 19, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Ironicus

      Everyone just hit the "report abuse" button and flush these turd-posts into the gutter where they belong.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • STLBroker

      Yeah, maybe you could work for him and you could blow your brains out together as you hide in a hole like a coward.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  19. Chris

    Don't forget the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide, The Cambodian Genocide under Khmer Rouge, the Rwanda Genocide, or the Genocide in Darfur.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  20. Alex Povolotski

    If Mein Kampf is pulled, why not pull The Communist Manifesto and Capital by Karl Heinrich Marx!

    Hitler, directly or indirectly, was the catalyst of progress. He was the creator of high speed highway system Autobahn, he was the one who commissioned the development and creation of stealth planes, jet propulsion planes and missiles and research into nuclear power. His research into nutritional issues were also remarkable.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Aaron

      Yes let's all celebrate him as a hero! What an ignorant comment. I am positive those developments would have been achieved with or without him.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Kansan

      In American, ignorant fools like yourself get to spew this nonsense – and I get to tell you that you are an ignorant fool.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • STLBroker

      Lets not forget the ever popular "mini moustache". On second thought, maybe not. Only one good thing came from Hitler's existence and that is the knowledge that someone like Hitler can exist. With that knowledge and some well trained special forces, we can ensure that the next Hitler never happens.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
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About this blog

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.