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. becool

    I don't understand what's this fuss about? If we believe in freedom, it means the freedom to print out everything, absolutely everything, and those whiners need to give us a break for sometimes...

    January 22, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • md2205

      How about giving the Jews a permanent break from being oppressed, persecuted, murdered, stolen from, kicked out of country after country without being allowed to take their possessions. How about for a change not printing books that incite people to kill the Jews, which has been going on for century after century.

      January 23, 2012 at 1:30 am |
  2. Iqbal Khan


    January 21, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
  3. Rubedo

    Satan roams the earth and he is everywhere; tempting people, with or without decency and morals, to do wrong. He preys on the lost souls, the weak and the strong.

    What does your inner-spirit and conscience tell you when you are about to do something that is wrong? It is a higher power, higher than yourself, that has enlightened you with knowing right from wrong. Is this just a miracle or a gift?

    January 21, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Sue


      Don't project your ignorance on everyone else. The more we learn, the less we have a need for supernatural "explanations" such as the Christian sky fairy and all the other man-made gods that have preceded it.

      January 21, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  4. Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
    Prayer fucks up your knees and your back.
    Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
    Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
    Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
    Prayer makes you hoard cats.
    Prayer makes you crave the smell of kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
    Prayer wastes time.

    January 21, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • bringoutyourdead

      a demon exposed and terrified of prayer

      January 21, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • bringoutyourdead

      a demon exposed and terrified of prayer fearful of Gods final judgement

      January 21, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
  5. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Prayer change you can believe in

    January 21, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  6. AGuest9

    Didn't Hitler order Jewish books burned? Is it suddenly OK now for the shoe to be on the other foot?

    January 21, 2012 at 9:07 am |
  7. Al

    I think religions ought to spring up around 'Mein Kampf' - it should be used as a key educational resource in this country.

    The book's brilliant.

    January 20, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Al

      6 million more, please.

      January 20, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Al

      Scratch that. I meant 6 or 7 BILLION more (Asians, blacks, f-aggots, k-ikes, rags, communists, socialists, pedophiles, liberals, career politicians and loose b-itches/most western women).

      January 20, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  8. Yarr

    Censorship= Fascism

    January 20, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • OneLifeOnly

      Right. Either the full book or nothing. Its not well written, its boring. People dont read the bible and they dont read Mein Kampf. I got the original book from my grandmother and read it. But I am not typical at all.

      Ideas cant be forbidden. You cant put the Toothpaste back in the Tube.

      January 21, 2012 at 2:13 am |
    • OneLifeOnly

      Religious people have no right to decide for me.

      January 21, 2012 at 2:21 am |
  9. honolulu

    How to make a dirty bomb, or molest children should be banned from print, but nothing else. Making something forbidden just gives it alure and power. HITLER burned and banned books, remember ??????

    January 20, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  10. Silveen

    It is almost impossible to feel the way Germans did at the time. So if the various pages are commented, they are with the NOW-VIEW and understanding, and nobody talkes about the original CAUSE of it all. – –
    But also, the world has not leaned from this resulting tragedy, now it "only" happens to other countries, against other races, other religions, other colors, other cultures. –
    Look around what is happening now. Compare and draw your own conclusion.
    BTW: the so called Neo-Nazies have not a clue what this all was about. They seem to be just a vicious gang – like there are gangs in every country, with the vaious "themes". –

    January 20, 2012 at 9:54 am |
  11. BIg hot turd-wads are dropping from my rear-end

    Eat em!!

    January 20, 2012 at 8:07 am |
  12. margaret

    Im sitting on the toilet.

    January 20, 2012 at 7:48 am |
  13. Iqbal Khan


    January 19, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
  14. Iqbal Khan


    January 19, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
  15. Pete


    January 19, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Prayer upsets demons

    January 19, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • Prior

      "Fear not the Ori, fear the darkness that would conceal the knowledge of the universe. Believe in the truth of all things, and you too may find the path to enlightenment."

      "Hallowed are the Ori"

      January 20, 2012 at 7:32 am |
    • OneLifeOnly

      -> 10 questions that every intelligent Christian must answer

      January 21, 2012 at 2:23 am |
  17. Chris Rettenmoser

    WRONG...excerpts of " Mein Kampf" have been published in Germany for years now !

    January 19, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
  18. J.W

    "I am an atheist. Bad things happen in the name of atheism."-Satan

    January 19, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • derp

      “We were convinced that the people needs and requires this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out.”

      "My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow my self to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice… And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows . For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people."

      – Adolf Hitler.

      January 19, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • lared

      Satan is NOT an atheist. He most certainly believes in Jehovah. The only sad part is that he does not obey his heavenly father. Please read James 2:19,20 in your Bible or google it.

      January 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Czar

      derp: ANYONE can kill in the name of ANY cause. Just because you declare yourself to be a christian, jew or whatever other religion doesn't make you one. It's what you DO what matters, and not just what you say.

      January 19, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Thinker23

      As far as I recall neither the Satan nor his earthly incarnation Adolfo Hitler nor Hitler's followers in Iran, Gaza and other places were or claimed to be atheists.

      January 19, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Ban Religion

      Satan doesn't exist. Anyone that believes it does is a retard.

      January 19, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  19. Prior

    "Hallowed are the children of the Ori."

    "Hallowed are we; hallowed are the Ori."

    January 19, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  20. MartinT

    I'm a troll and love it

    January 19, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
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.