German Jewish chief doubts 'Mein Kampf' pamphlets

Graumann: "I can truly do without the publication of this hate-filled book that is confused, saturated with anti-Semitism to the core."

January 17, 2012 16:58
2 minute read.
Mein Kampf sells in Poland

Mein Kampf sells in Poland_311. (photo credit: Reuters)


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President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dieter Graumann, said Tuesday that while he could do without the publication of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf in Germany, he would rather German citizens read annotated excerpts from the book than access it from online sources.

"I can truly do without the publication of this hate-filled book that is confused saturated with anti-Semitism to the core," Graumann said via e-mail to The Jerusalem Post, stipulating that "If one must actually read it, then rather in the framework of a critical commentary that would run as an addendum to the book."

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Graumann was reacting to British publisher Peter Mcgee's announcement that he planned on running an annotated pamphlet of excerpts from the iconic book, which was dictated by Hitler while he served prison time in Germany in 1923.

The German Jewish leader expressed concern about the potential for popularity that the publication may have, and the easy access provided by sales in urban kiosks.

"The thought that Adolf Hitler will become a best-selling [author] makes me sick. Anyone who plans to make profits with Hitler will certainly never have us on their side.  In addition, no one should allow the kiosk to become a Nazi hotbed," he wrote.

British historian and publisher Mcgee explained to Der Spiegel Sunday that his intention is to allow the German public to come to terms with the text that helped spread Nazi sentiments in post-WWI Germany.

"It's about time the broader public is given the opportunity to deal with the original text," Mcgee told the newspaper.

That same Spiegel article also claimed that Graumann welcomed the publication, because it provided a chance to "demystify" Hitler's book.

Speaking with the Post, Graumann dismissed Mcgee's intention.

"That the book is miserably written no longer requires any more proof. Mein Kampf lies between garbage and mysticism," he said.

He expressed hope that if Mcgee insists on publication, Germans will understand that the book is "vicious and cynical," especially in a modern context.

Graumann said Mcgee could use an earlier project of his, called Zeitungszeugen - in which Mcgee printed facsimiles of National Socialist, Communist Social Democrat newspapers from between 1933-1945 with a commentary - as an example for how to frame Hitler's text appropriately.

Graumann said the pamphlets will prove the need to fight anti-Semitism and racism not only as "an obligation, but [as] a pure matter of course that goes without saying.

Benjamin Weinthal contributed to this report

The Jerusalem Post erroneously published Monday that Graumann welcomed the publication of the pamphlets, as per a Sunday article in Die Spiegel.

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