‘IfZ historians have never before attracted this much public attention’


A wedding ceremony in Germany in 1936, Hitler had decided that a copy of Mein Kampf should be given to every couple on their wedding day.

From Spiegel Online:

That damned book! The minister feels a need to drink something spicy. Ludwig Spaenle reaches for a bottle of Tabasco, pours a generous amount into a glass of vegetable juice and takes a large gulp. “Mein Kampf?” Yes, he says, it’s certainly a unique story.

He initially welcomed the new edition of Adolf Hitler’s book, he says, and the Bavarian state parliament even approved a budget of €500,000 ($542,000) for the project, led by the Munich Institute of Contemporary History. But then, says Spaenle, he accompanied the Bavarian governor on a trip to Israel in September 2012. And after that, opinions changed, he explains. Period.

Spaenle, the Bavarian Minister of Education and Science, pours another serving of vegetable juice and Tabasco into his glass and takes another large gulp. What happened in Jerusalem? Well, he says, there were the victims’ rights groups, there were Israeli cabinet ministers and there were many meetings. After that, it was clear that it just wouldn’t do. A new edition of “Mein Kampf” with the coat of arms of the State of Bavaria on the front cover? No one in Israel would have understood such a thing.

Spaenle takes another sip and spends a moment staring into space in his office, enormous even by Bavarian standards. It is an evening in November 2015 and the minister, a Baroque figure, is sitting — or rather, holding court — on his sofa, with his sleeves rolled up, surrounded by dark oil paintings on the walls and a large photo of former Bavarian Governor Franz Josef Strauss on his desk.

This book, the victims, academia — somehow it all refused to fit together.

Book of Hate: The Bold Attempt to Demystify Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf'”, Martin Derry and Klaus Wiegrefe, Spiegel Online