A copy of Adolf Hitler's book ''Mein Kampf'' (My Struggle) from 1940 is pictured in Berlin, Germany.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Students recently voted Hitler's infamous manifesto Mein Kampf as one of their favorite books in a nationwide survey in Italy, The Daily Mail reported on Thursday.
In an effort to promote reading, the Italian Ministry of Education launched a survey of schoolchildren's favorite books. Mein Kampf placed in the top 10 of 10 Italian schools, including those in Palermo and Calabria, among others.
Students wrote in Mein Kampf
despite its not being officially eligible for the Italian-author-only survey.
The Italian newspaper Il Giornale was criticized in June
for distributing free copies of an annotated version of Hitler's Mein Kampf
with a paid supplement to its Saturday edition.
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Twitter that the decision to give away the copies of the Nazi leader's political treatise was "squalid" and expressed solidarity with Italy's Jewish community.
Efraim Zuroff, director of the Israeli office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, was quoted as telling Corriere della Sera
it was unprecedented for a newspaper to use Mein Kampf
to boost sales, while the ANSA news agency quoted Israeli Embassy sources as expressing surprise.
But Il Giornale
, a center-right daily owned by the family of former premier Silvio Berlusconi, said the decision to distribute the edition of the text, which includes critical notes by an Italian historian, aimed "to study what is evil to avoid its return."
A 70-year copyright on Hitler's book held by the state of Bavaria expired at the end of 2015, prompting Munich's Institute for Contemporary History to re-issue it as an annotated version earlier this year in an effort "to thoroughly deconstruct Hitler's propaganda."
Reuters contributed to this report.