On Hitler's suicide in 1945, the rights to his autobiography, Mein Kampf, were transferred to the state of Bavaria who refused to release another German edition of the notorious work. Seventy years passed, and by German law, the copyright for the book went into the public domain on January 1, 2016. The Institute of Contemporary History (IfZ), concerned about the potential for an unannotated edition of the autobiography to appear after the copyright expired, decided to release a two-volume annotated version of the work in January of last year. The IfZ has now revealed that the book sold 85,000 copies in Germany last year, making it one of the year's bestsellers.
"...[T]he debate about Hitler's world view and his approach to propaganda offered a chance to look at the causes and consequences of totalitarian ideologies, at a time in which authoritarian political views and rightwing slogans are gaining ground," said Andreas Wirsching, the director of the IfZ in an interview with The Guardian.
From the time Mein Kampf was published in 1925 until the end of WWII, approximately 12.4m copies of the book were published. When Nazism was at its height, a copy of Mein Kampf was gifted by the state to every newlywed couple in the country.
English and French editions of the annotated edition are in the works.
[Image from the IfZ]