Jewish leaders give okay to 'Mein Kampf' release
The Central Council of Jews in Germany said Wednesday it does not object to the publication of a critical, scientifically-annotated version of Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" scheduled for January.
"Knowledge of 'Mein Kampf' is still important to explain National Socialism and the Holocaust," the council's head Josef Schuster told the Handelsblatt business daily.
"Therefore there are no objections to a scientifically annotated edition for research and teaching purposes."
The rights to the Nazi leader's anti-Semitic diatribe have since the end of World War II been held by the state of Bavaria, which has refused to allow reprints because the book incites racial hatred, and out of respect for victims of the Holocaust.
However, the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich plans to publish in January the two-volume "Hitler, Mein Kampf. A Critical Edition", which adds context to the Nazi dictator's hateful rant with historical commentary in some 3,500 annotations.
German authorities still plan to prosecute publishers of unedited reprints of the book on charges of "inciting racial hatred".
Schuster warned that law enforcement must in such cases "proceed with the utmost determination to prevent the spread and the sale of the book" once the text falls into the public domain on January 1.
"There is a great danger that this sorry literary effort will increasingly be brought onto the market," he said.
"At any rate it is unfortunately already available on the Internet and abroad," he told the daily, according to excerpts of an interview to be published Thursday.