Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Talking About Mein Kampf (2016)

When Hitler's book, Mein Kampf, was published in one could really predict the success or failure of the book.  It was a politically-charged "thesis" in some ways.....but it laid out the basic promises of Nationalist Socialism.

I attempted to read it back in the mid-80s, getting maybe twenty pages into it and finding it to be a fairly 'dry' book.  If you take both volume one and two (number two was published a year later)'s a 720-page situation.

Few people realize it.....but Hitler made a fair amount of profit from the two volumes and generally avoided paying taxes off the profits.

I read through a historian discussion around two decades ago....having come to Germany to interview older Germans in the 1980s who were around in the 1920s/1930s.  A number of them admitted that they came to own the set of books, which sat on a living room table in full view of guests or on their office desk.  From that group, the vast number admitted that they'd never read the book or barely gotten a few pages into it.  It was a status symbol of sorts, at the time.

I bring this topic of Mein Kampf up because the court effort to keep it on the forbidden list in Germany for publication is coming to an end.  The state of Bavaria, who holds the copyright, kept the book from being published in Germany.  If you wanted a US copy or Chinese was always possible.  But in was considered 'voo-doo' and figured to be the most dangerous document in existence.  The legal standing for Bavaria's ownership ends in December.

What will appear in early 2016 is an odd publication.  Mein Kampf will be produced not as the 720-page document, but a 2,000-page book.  Various Geman historians and journalists will inject their criticism of Nationalist Socialism within the text of the document.  For every page that Hitler generated.....they will produce two pages in denouncing the political slant.

Now, I don't profess to be an expert on Germany or Nationalist Socialism.....but it's going to be curious how you denounce various bits of socialism while being a socialist state today.  To a certain extent, one of the big dislikes within the Hitler 'dream' was open-market capitalism.  Capitalism exists within Germany today.....although it's heavily regulated and always under threat of more regulation.

What will the 2,000-page document cost?  Unknown.  There's a suggestion that it'll be digital-only but I have my doubts.

Who will read the entire 2,000-page document?  No one.  I'm willing to say without any hesitation that less than a hundred Germans will ever read the entire document.  These will be mostly intellectural-geeks and public forum chat enthusiasts.

The ability to read only the 720-pages of the original document?  They apparently will weave the 1,380-odd pages into the Hitler's entire document and you will find it difficult to skip and only read the 720-pages.

The prediction I will make is that within a year.....someone will take the 2,000 pages of Mein Kampf, and add another 500 pages of their own criticism of the 2016 newly defined criticism of Hitler's 1925 book. Criticism of criticism?  Yeah.  It's the German way.....if you ask me.

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