A heavily annotated edition of Adolf Hitler's manifesto Mein Kampf will be released in Germany now that the 70-year copyright on the original, best-selling book has expired.
The re-publication, which is set for Jan. 8, ends a German ban that was implemented shortly after the end of the Second World War on the anti-Semitic, racist text. The copyright ended Dec. 31, 2015.
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The upcoming version, which will be published by the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich, includes more than three thousand annotations by scholars to point out flaws and add context throughout the pages.
The decision has sparked mixed reaction from Jewish groups, some of which are against the release, even with contextual notes. Others say it could help further explain the Holocaust and could be helpful for historical and teaching purposes.
The state of Bavaria held the rights to the largely autobiographical book from 1945 through 2015 in an effort to minimize its dissemination. It was still sold in other countries and could easily be found online.
Sold 12 million copies originally
No publisher in Germany until now has been legally allowed to print Mein Kampf, which translates to My Struggle, and evolved through dictation while Hitler was in prison. The largely autobiographical book was originally published in two volumes, the first in 1925 and the second in 1926.
Under copyright law in Europe, rights to a literary work continue for the life of the author in addition to 70 years after his or her death. Hitler shot himself in 1945 in a Berlin bunker.
When it was originally published, the manifesto sold more than 12 million copies in Germany and was translated into 18 languages.
Serdar Somuncu, a German comedian who became famous after performing satirical readings of Mein Kampf, told CBC Radio's As It Happens that Hitler's manifesto is so "ridiculous" that adding notes to it makes it more valuable than he believes it is.
"There are much more dangerous things which you can buy without any problems, he said.
Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl, the captivating true account of a young Jewish girl in hiding with her family during the Second World War, also entered the public domain on the same day as Mein Kampf.