World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder said an annotated edition of Hitler’s book ‘Mein Kampf’, due to hit German bookstores this Friday, was unnecessary. Lauder said academics should study the book, and the impact it had ought to be taught to students, but he questioned whether a new edition of the book was necessary to do so, given that the text was easily accessible for researchers and that more than 12 million copies had been sold prior to 1945, making its author a rich man.
Lauder declared: "’Mein Kampf’ should have been properly studied 90 years ago. Hitler’s lies should have been rebutted back then. Alas, we all know that because that didn’t happen Hitler felt emboldened to embark on the biggest mass murder in the history of mankind. Hence it would be best to leave ‘Mein Kampf’ where it belongs: the poison cabinet of history."
The WJC president added: "'Mein Kampf’ was the playbook for World War II and for the Holocaust. It continues to be widely available, both online and in second-hand book stores. Enough of this vile and toxic book have been printed. Germany rightly prohibits the publication and distribution of books that incite to hatred, and among them is ‘Mein Kampf’.
"I don’t see the need for a critical edition. Unlike other works that truly deserve to be republished as annotated editions, ‘Mein Kampf’ does not. Already, academics, historians and the wider public have easy access to this text. Yes, ‘Mein Kampf’ should be studied, and it is appropriate to teach German students about this book and the terrible impact it had.
"But the idea that to do so requires an annotated edition with thousands of pages of text is nonsense. This project may be well-intended, but the Bavarian government was right not to allow its republication until the expiry of the copyright, or to support a new edition," said Lauder.