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1st Jan 2016: publication of Mein Kampf

July 30, 2012

A few years ago I was on a bus heading toward Elephant & Castle in London, it was summer and the bus was busy and warm and I was sat on the top deck listening to music and reading and minding my own business.  A young woman of around 20 years old got on the bus, came upstairs and struggled to find a seat and ended up sitting on the aisle opposite me.  She was carrying several carrier bags and put them down on the seat next to her but as the bus pulled away a bag fell on to the floor and spilled its contents on the floor.  Those who were paying attention watched a copy of Mein Kampf slide down the aisle, cover face up and after the girl shrugged off her initial embarrassment, she scooped up her possessions and the bus journey carried on in an uneventful fashion.

Walk into any well-stocked bookshop in Britain and you’ll probably be able to find a copy of Mein Kampf but the same cannot be said in Germany where a ban exists on its publication until the end of 2015. But on 1st January 2016 the book falls out of copyright and there is debate about what should be done next.  The copyright is held in Bavaria and the authorities have opted to defuse its message by producing an annotated version that will be appropriate for teenage audiences and giving teachers the relevant professional development to engage with the subject in the classroom.

There’s an interesting article here and one here by the BBC if you want more information.

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