British bookseller WHSmith was spotted recently selling Adolf Hilter’s anti-Semitic manifesto Mein Kampf at its branch at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman.
According to the Jerusalem Post, the book was spotted by Saul Sadker in WHSmith’s Bestseller’s section. Originally from Britain, Sadker relocated to Israel and was recently at the airport during a layover.
Sadker was shocked when he saw the Arabic version of the book on the shelves of such a well-known British company.
While the English translation of the book is sold by WHSmith online, it is uncommon for developed countries to sell it in physical stores. However, Jerusalem Post says throughout the Middle East the Arabic translation of Mein Kampf is still widely read.
Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ to be republished in Germany for first time since WWII
It follows reports earlier this month that Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” will be printed in Germany for the first time in over half a century. The Institute of Contemporary History in Munich plans to print an annotated version of the manifesto, which will hit shelves between 8 and 11 January.
According to the International Business TImes, the copyright on the Nazi dictator’s book expires at the start of the new year, and the looming deadline has sparked a fierce debate in Germany over whether it should be republished. For decades, authorities in Germany have been hesitant to republish the book out of respect for the victims killed by Nazis during World War II. Particularly in Bavaria, the province that holds the copyright, officials have restricted access to the book to prevent inciting interest in Hitler’s hateful ideas.
As the copyright nears expiration, the debate over “Mein Kampf” has heated up, with many, including some Jewish groups, saying the book is dangerous and should not be published again.
Hitler’s “book is dangerous. It is a Pandora’s box. One does not know what’s going on within the reader’s mind,” Charlotte Knobloch, president of the Jewish community in Munich and Upper Bavaria, told AFP Oct. 28. “It is the ideological basis of the mass, industrial extermination of the Jewish people.”
“It paved the way for the Holocaust. Of course it is in the interest of right-wing militants and Islamists to spread these ideas,” Knobloch added.
But the historians who want to republish the text say they have good intentions. Andreas Wirsching, the director of the Institute of Contemporary History, told the Guardian he hopes the 3,500 annotations will help “shatter the myth” surrounding the book.
Sources: Jerusalem Post / International Business Times