Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” Book Created Polemic in France

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PARIS – Fayard, one of the largest publishing houses in France, announced that he decided to publish Adolf Hitler’s book “Mein Kampf (Mein Kampf)”, which is accepted as the manifesto of Nazism. The decision divided historians and philosophers in France.

French publishing house Fayard announced that they will publish Mein Kampf, which forms the basis of Adolf Hitler’s racist and anti-Jewish ideology, in French in 2021. Publishing House, which did not reveal the exact date of publication, did not provide any information about the content of the book.

Fayard announced that he would do the new edition in 2020, but announced that they were delaying this decision due to the pandemic. The publishing house announced that the book will not be translated from the old translation, but by Oliver Mannoni, who translated giant names such as Sigmund Freud and Stefan Zweig into French, and that a “text of criticism” prepared by a committee of international historians will be included in the book.

The book, written by Hitler between 1924 and 1926, was banned in 1945 by the allies who won the Second World War. The State of Bavaria, the sole owner of the broadcasting rights, used the copyright of Mein Kampf fully and responsibly.

France will be the second country in Europe to print Mein Kampf this year, after Poland, which published the book last week. Poland became the first European country of the year to print the controversial book in 4,000 prints on 20 January 2021. The version of the book published by Bellona publications was published in 4 thousand copies. Bellona Publishing House has included criticism of Hitler’s ideology in half of the book of nearly a thousand pages.

Following the publication of Mein Kampf’s copyrights to the public, in 2016 its edition by IfZ, a public research center in Germany, sold 100,000 copies.

The first edition of the book, known as “Kavgam” in Turkish, was translated into French as “Mon Combat” in 1934. Nouvelles Editions Latines (NEL) published this book without the author’s permission until 1938. The book, which includes many lines against France, was reprinted under the name “Ma Doctrine” by Fayard publications in 1938.

“Should it be printed?” argument

The decision to publish the book, which is regarded as the ideological matrix of the crimes committed by Nazism, up to the Jewish holocaust, divided the French historians and the publishing world.

Historian Christian Ingrao, a member of the team working on the development of French repression, told France Culture radio that “It is time to get rid of the fantasies surrounding this book, and that Hitler wrote the book long before the” eradication of the Jews “decision taken in 1941.” “The publication of the book will contribute to getting out of Hitler’s decentralization and finding the final solution,” Ingrao said.

Philosopher Paphael Enthoven, in a statement to Radio Europe 1, argues that “You can easily find this book on the internet. It is free for sale. The 1934 edition is already sold digitally,” argues that a controlled edition is more correct.

French historian Jean Garrigou, in his assessment of France 24 Television, pointed out that a banned text “makes that text even more attractive”, arguing that it is a more correct method to discuss the content of the works rather than banning them.

Johann Chapoutot, an expert on Germany and Nazism, emphasized that reprinting the book, which is the manifesto of Nazism, was a risky step, and that “contextual information” should accompany the book before it is circulated in the public sphere in order to be understood as a historical document.

Historian Laurent Busseau, in his article published on the “Historians Without Borders” website, pointed out that the rise of the far right has increased in the last two years and that, although he has a critical statement, new editions risk contributing to the danger of the return of Nazism.

Busseau underlined that although it has been banned from publication since Hitler’s death, the circulation of the book has never decreased, and that Neo Nazis, Jewish enemies and even Daesh (IS) are still reading this book today.

Reminding that Mein Kampf sold 10 million between 1933 and 1945, the historian pointed out that the book sold 70 million copies from India to Japan and America in 2020.

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