Hitler’s Mein Kampf: A Dangerous Book
This documentary examines the provocative publication and circulation of Mein Kampf. For the first time since Hitler’s death, Germany is publishing Hitler’s political treatise “Mein Kampf”, unleashing a highly charged row over whether the text is an inflammatory racist diatribe or a useful educational tool.
The 70-year copyright on the text, written by Hitler between 1924-1926 and banned by the Allies at the end of World War Two, expired at the end of 2015, opening the way for a critical edition with explanatory sections and some 3,500 annotations. Hitler wrote most of the first, highly autobiographical, volume while incarcerated in Landsberg prison after his failed Munich coup attempt in 1923. After his release, he wrote much of the second volume at his mountain retreat near Berchtesgaden. In the book, a mix of personal experience and political ideology, he outlined his strategy. A bestseller after he became chancellor in 1933, it had by 1945 sold 12 million copies and been translated into 18 languages.
The publication is a controversial move for Germany, which is still struggling with the legacy of the Nazi era and the final solution policy which was played out in the Holocaust. Pressing questions emerge about this divisive document: why does the book appear so dangerous? Why do Hitler’s thoughts remain so fascinating? In today’s world is it wise to reprint Mein Kampf? Raising important ideas of book production, editing, distribution and the issue of banned books, this documentary gives vital insight into the politically heated literary history of Mein Kampf.
52 MIN / ENGLISH
DIRECTOR — MANFRED OLDENBURG