General Question

flutherother's avatar

Should Mein Kampf remain banned in Germany?

Asked by flutherother (33248points) July 11th, 2012
16 responses
“Great Question” (7points)

The ban on the ‘700-page, two-volume monstrosity’, the first edition of which came out in 1925, is due to expire at the end of 2015. Has the ban outlived its purpose and should its publication be allowed once more?

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Fly's avatar

I say let it expire. Yes, it’s terrible, but a part of history and important insight nonetheless. I wouldn’t want that censored any more than I want slavery taken out of educational textbooks.

Plus, I’m half Jewish, so I feel like a have at least a little stake in this. ;)

josie's avatar

In my opinion, the people who want to ban books are bigger assholes than the ones that wrote them. Well, on reflection, maybe equally big assholes.

mambo's avatar

I don’t believe in the banning of books. If anything, the book is a part of history and should be left alone.

Qingu's avatar

@josie, yes, people in support of this ban are just as big or bigger of assholes as the guy who started the most destructive war in human history and mass-murdered millions of people. Well-spoken as always.

My distaste for imbecilic false equivalency aside, yes, the ban should expire. I always thought it was dumb to ban it in the first place.

bkcunningham's avatar

It isn’t just Mein Kampf, German laws ban all Nazi symbols and the distribution of texts inciting anti-Semitism and racial hatred.

Of course it is still available on the Internet and certain editions are allowed to distributed. The discussion is really about the copyright.

Berserker's avatar

As many answers state, it should be left alone, for the sake of history.

bookish1's avatar

Who will be making money if it goes back into print?

bkcunningham's avatar

The Bavarian state government holds the copyright, @bookish1.

Rarebear's avatar

This is a good question. As an American, I agree that no books should be banned. But Germany is a different animal. What that WW2 government did was so horrible that it should be burned in the permanent memory of the world. But does banning a book do that? Isn’t it better to teach the book as an example of racist rhetoric?

Interesting that it is available by .pdf. I didn’t know. I found it here and I skimmed through it.

The language in it is pretty incredible.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Rarebear I agree. I think it should be mandatory reading for all Germans with a through deconstruction of why it’s wrong, and how good people can be convinced to to unspeakable thing by listening to faulty logic and arguments. I’ve not read it myself, but I’m certain it must be riddled with logical fallacies, if it came to the conclusion that some races are superior to others.

Rarebear's avatar

I’ll be curious to know what Matt thinks about it.

Qingu's avatar

I tried to read it once. I found the writing style ridiculous and I had to give up. Fucker sure did like Wagner, he writes like a damn overblown opera.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Rarebear I shared this question with him as soon as I read it. The same for Ragingloli.

The SO and I were in Munich a few months ago and took day tours of the Dachau concentration camp as well as one in Nuremberg. I had no idea that Mein Kampf was banned in Germany, along with other Nazi propaganda, until then.

While mildly shocked at this bit of information, it is understandable why the ban might have been put into place. I think it is up to the German citizens to decide what to do about it. The information is out there if someone really wants to read/view it.

I’d be interested to know if there has been a recent case where someone was prosecuted for accessing it. Here in the US, each state has many laws that are still on the books for outlandish reasons that no longer apply.

From what I understand, the whole Nazi regime is still a sensitive subject in Germany. It would be interesting to know what is taught in their history classes.

Nullo's avatar

I don’t think so. How are we to learn from History if we don’t study it?

ragingloli's avatar

In any other case I would say that the ban should be lifted, but in this case I can say that I would not find it exactly ‘tragic’ if the ban on it and other Nazi symbols were to be renewed.
However, I would not care if the ban was lifted, either.

bookish1's avatar

@bkcunningham : Thanks for your answer. Doesn’t really weigh in on my answer, but I was curious.

As a history student and an American, I am inclined to say the book should not be banned. I would never read the book, it was difficult enough for me to read Hitler’s Second Book for a class. But I think that were the book to remain banned, it would only fuel the interest and paranoia of neo-Nazis, who doubtless see some sort of conspiracy behind its illegality. I agree that it can and should be used to teach the absurdity of racist world views.

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