The ban on Mein Kampf has become less effective because of the Internet. The Internet allows German citizens to access copies of Mein Kampf online. More importantly, the legal rights to Mein Kampf are controlled by the state of Bavaria. Those rights expire in 2015, at which point the book becomes public domain and may be republished at will. The German government currently faces a controversial decision: whether or not to republish Mein Kampf.
The strongest argument in favor of republishing Mein Kampf is that the book has historical and educational import. Scholars hope to publish annotated copies that clarify key facts and illustrate context. The online copies do not contain any scholastic notes that inform the reader of the false data contained in Hitlers autobiography. Just as Hitler inflated his hatred of the Jews, the autobiographical data is often “inaccurate,” (“Mein Kampf: Nazi Germany”). Hitler painted a positive image of himself in the book, and many believe that readers might believe the contents to be factual. Scholars could release copies that cannot be misinterpreted except by those who already hold anti-Semitic values.
Interestingly, some German Jews support the republication of Mein Kampf. The book may serve as a reminder of how horrifying the Nazi era was, and possibly prevent it from ever taking place again. Suppressing the past is not always an effective way of learning from the past. Examining the darkness and hatred that has arisen in the human spirit might inspire readers to combat racism in their own hearts.
“Mein Kampf: Nazi Germany.” Spartacus International. Retrieved 13 Nov 2009 from http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/GERmein.htm
Paterson, Tony. “German Jews want Mein Kampf Reprinted.” The Independent. 10 Aug 2009. Retrieved 13 Nov 2009 from http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/german-jews-want-mein-kampf-reprinted-1769960.html
Sautter, Ursula. “Should Mein Kampf be Un-Banned?” Time. 13 Aug 2008. Retrieved 13 Nov 2009 from http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1831786,00.html
Smith, David Gordon. “Should Germany Republish Mein Kampf?” Spiegel Online. 17 Jul 2007. Retrieved Nov 13, 2009 from http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,494891,00.html.