Only three days after it was released, the first reprint of Adolf Hitler’s infamous manifesto has sold out in Germany.
Mein Kampf (My Struggle) entered the public domain in 2016 after a 70-year ban beginning at the fall of Nazi Germany in 1945.
Online sellers such as Amazon, as well as bricks and mortar shops, underestimated interest in the book – priced at a hefty $A92.
The German Institute of Contemporary History was forced to increase its initial order of 4000 copies after it received 15,000 in pre-orders.
Some have speculated the controversy surrounding the book’s re-entry into Germany helped fuel the incredible sales.
“I think it is simply that the wave of agonised op-ed pieces in the German press over the last couple of weeks must have done a marvellous marketing job,” World War II historian Roger Moorhouse told Tech Insider.
When Germany’s The Munich Institute flagged its plan to reprint the book in two volumes with annotations, the decision split the German public.
But the Institute maintained the book’s educational properties were valuable enough to justify reintroducing the Nazi leader’s views back into the mainstream.
“The aim … is to present Mein Kampf as a salient source document for contemporary history, to describe the context of the genesis of Hitler’s world view,” said the Institute.
However, despite educational authorities positively reinforcing the book’s value in schools, the Central Council of Jews in Germany said they supported a continuation of the ban.
Annotations added by the Munich Institute’s team have attempted to remove the effect of Hitler’s impassioned writing, and the authority of his political views.
One example is a passage that describes a “black-haired Jewish boy”.
The passage is marked with an annotation that explains: “The image of the ‘black-haired Jew’ was a widespread cliché.”
When the Allies defeated Germany in 1945, they awarded the copyright of Hitler’s part-manifesto, part-autobiography to Bavaria, which in turn instated the ban.
Before the end of the war, Mein Kampf had sold 12 million copies.