Amazon UK has banned the sale of most editions of Hitler's Mein Kampf and other Nazi propaganda books from its store following campaigning by Jewish groups.
Booksellers were informed in recent days that they would no longer be allowed to
sell a number of Nazi-authored books on the website.
In one email seen by the Guardian individuals selling secondhand copies of Mein Kampf on the service have been told by Amazon that they can no longer offer this book as it breaks the website's
code of conduct. The ban impacts the main editions of Mein Kampf produced by mainstream publishers such as London-based Random House and India's Jaico, for whom it has become an unlikely bestseller .
Other Nazi publications including the
children's book The Poisonous Mushroom written by Nazi publisher Julius Streicher, who was later executed for crimes against humanity.
Amazon would not comment on what had prompted it to change its mind on the issue but a recent intervention to
remove the books by the London-based Holocaust Educational Trust received the backing of leading British politicians.
The German publisher of a special annotated edition of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf says sales have soared since its launch a year ago.
About 85,000 German-language copies have been sold. Publisher Andreas Wirsching said the figures
overwhelmed us . At the end of January the publisher will launch a sixth print run.
Unlike the Nazi-era editions, this edition of Mein Kampf (My Struggle) has a plain white cover - without a picture of Hitler, and includes copious
notes by scholars.
The BBC adds the 'balance' that 85,00 copies does not make the book a runaway hit . The BBC's Damien McGuinness in Berlin writes:
The fact that the Nazi manifesto reached number one in
Der Spiegel's non-fiction charts in April is cited as evidence that Adolf Hitler's propaganda is making a comeback in Germany.
For a German non-fiction book sales of 85,000 are not bad. But the figures don't indicate a runaway
hit. The current biggest non-fiction seller is The Hidden Life of Trees, a book about the ecosystem of woodland, which has sold half a million copies so far.
The German Right-wing publisher Schelm-Verlag intends to release a version of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf without annotations.
Amid much furor, Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf returned to German bookstores in January - albeit in annotated
form. The first editions, with around 3,700 comments from historians, intended to put the diatribe into context, sold out within weeks.
The publication was made possible only this year after the book's copyright had expired, 70 years after
Hitler's death. Legally speaking, the work is considered seditious. But with the annotations by the Munich-based Institute for Contemporary History, the legal case for publication was sound. That's not necessarily the case for the new unannotated
Schelm, based in Leipzig, is already taking orders on its website for the unaltered reprint, which the publisher says will serve as a source of public education, help defend against unconstitutional efforts and provide historical
documentation for the academic world.
An Italian newspaper has generated a little 'outrage' for a promotion offering free copies of an annotated version of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf . Il Giornale started selling an eight-volume history of the Third Reich, with the annotated copy of
Mein Kampf free for readers who bought the first volume.
The Italian prime minister, Matteo Renzi, said on Twitter that Il Giornale's decision to give away the copies of the Nazi leader's political treatise was squalid, as he expressed solidarity
with Italy's Jewish community:
But Il Giornale, a centre-right daily owned by the family of Berlusconi, claimed 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 .
Hitler's autobiography Mein Kampf (My Struggle) was long banned in Germany where it was considered too dangerous for people to read. Now, it's a German best-seller.
An annotated version currently ranks second in nonfiction on the German weekly
Der Spiegel's authoritative bestseller list,
It's almost certainly not because of anything German bookstores are doing: In fact, most had virtually hidden the book from customers, according to a BBC report in January. Some had refrained from
advertising it, while others ordered only a single copy. But online sales picked up, and in-store sales soon followed.
Critics have claimed that banning the book from being reprinted has added to the mystery surrounding it and did more harm than
However, the book that is currently topping the German bestseller lists is far different from Hitler's original version. The new 2,000-page edition is heavily annotated with remarks by experts to help put Hitler's comments into context.
Perhaps will prove equally controversial
over the next 70 years.
Adolf Hitler's political manifesto Mein Kampf with critical notes by scholars is finally set to be published next month - for the first time in Germany since the end of WWII.
The Institute of Contemporary History (IfZ) in Munich says it will
print up to 4,000 copies with some 3,500 notes. IfZ director Andreas Wirsching says the text with expert comments will shatter the myth surrounding the book.
Mein Kampf (My Struggle) was originally printed in 1925 - eight years before
Hitler came to power.
After Nazi Germany was defeated in 1945, the Allied forces handed the copyright to the book to the state of Bavaria. The local authorities have refused to allow the book to be reprinted to prevent incitement of hatred. Under
German law copyright lasts for 70 years, and so publishers will be able to have free access to the original text from January.
The Scottish Labour MP Thomas Docherty has written to the British culture secretary inferring that Adolf Hitler's book, Mein Kampf should be banned.
He is calling for a national debate on whether the sale of the book should be banned in the UK.
Docherty has written to culture secretary Sajid Javid about the text, pointing out that it is currently rated as an Amazon bestseller . An edition of Mein Kampf is currently in fifth place on Amazon's history of Germany chart, in
fourth place in its history references chart, and in 665th place overall. He wrote:
I think that there is a compelling case for a national debate on whether there should be limits on the freedom of expression.
And of course the inevitable '...BUT...' He said i n his letter there are:
Many who would argue that the publication of books as repulsive as Mein Kampf is the price of living in a democracy,
and that by allowing academic study of books such as this, we ensure that our society understands better the causes of fascism and the origins of Nazism.
there are also many who
would argue that such a book, which sought to incite racial hatred and fuel antisemitism, is too offensive to be made available.
And of course he doesn't want to be as vulgar as actually calling for a ban, he would much rather find
somebody else to utter those words:
I'm not saying it should be banned, I am saying we should absolutely have a debate about whether or not it should be banned,
Could you have for argument's
sake a system of academic licensing, a system in which institutes of learning were permitted to publish and teach it? Let's have the debate. Let's ask, in the 21st century, are there limits to free speech?