For the first time since World War II, Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” has been newly published in Germany. In today’s political and cultural climate, with so many nations and individuals harboring hatred for the Jewish people, this seems like the worst possible time for such a publication.
The comfort comes in that this new edition is annotated. According to USA Today, “It’s intended to demystify and fact-check the Nazi dictator’s manifesto. In addition to putting the book’s events in proper historical context, the new edition discloses Hitler’s source material, explains various ideological concepts and corrects errors and one-sided accounts.”
It “exposes the false information spread by Hitler, his downright lies and his many half-truths, which aimed at a pure propaganda effect,” says Andreas Wirsching, director of the Munich’s Institute for Contemporary History, whose scholars worked on this new edition for several years.
We can’t bury the past. In fact, when we bury the past we often repeat its mistakes. What will matter is not that this new annotated version was published, but the state of the hearts and minds of those reading it.
What do you think? Is the new publication a good idea? Or does it risk rousing a hatred better left alone?