Tuesday 23 July 2019

Annotated Dutch translation of Hitler’s Mein Kampf published this week

Photo: Adam Jones via Wikimedia Commons

A new Dutch edition of Mein Kampf, in which Adolf Hitler described his political views and the desirability of Aryan world domination, rolled off the presses on Wednesday in an annotated version.

It had been illegal to sell copies of Hitler’s book in the Netherlands since the 1980s, but in 2017 the Supreme Court cleared an antiquarian bookseller in Amsterdam who put copies of it on sale of disseminating hatred.

That verdict was seen as paving the way for an annotated edition of Mein Kampf in Dutch that includes the historical context.

With Wednesday’s publication publisher Prometheus follows in the footsteps of the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich which brought out an annotated version of the book last year to great critical and public acclaim. Mein Kampf, a critical edition spent 35 weeks on Der Spiegel’s best-seller list and sold about 85,000 copies.

According to Prometheus, Mein Kampf, although read and reviewed internationally at the time, was not taken seriously. ‘But anyone who wants to understand the causes of World War II and the Holocaust should read the book because it is a blueprint of what was to happen,’ the publishing company writes on its website.

Historical context

The new annotated edition, the publisher claims, will ‘provide an historical context and unmask its numerous myths and lies’.

The book will have an initial edition of 2,500 copies and will cost €50. According to news website Welingelichte Kringen the book will ‘probably not be prominently displayed in bookshops’ but book sellers will have the book in stock.

Mijn Strijd will be officially presented on September 5 during a debate in De Balie in Amsterdam.

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