With the expiration of copyright protections on Hitler’s political manifesto, it has been republished by a German scholarly institute, complete with extensive annotations. Contrary to the longstanding belief in Germany that the book was best kept away from the public, Peter Ross Range defends the decision to publish it:
Fears that Hitler’s feverish but rambling and repetitive writing would somehow incite a neo-Nazi revival are dismissed by most observers. The pure text has for years been posted on extremist right-wing websites, in German and other languages, and has not yet triggered a fascist groundswell. . . . For contemporary readers of any political persuasion, digging into Hitler’s overheated, simplistic theories of racial domination and his tangled 1920s foreign-policy prescriptions is more in the nature of historical homework than political inspiration.
But the homework is important, and that’s what makes the arrival of the new critical edition of Mein Kampf a positive step. Closeting the single most important original source of the Nazi enterprise is hardly the way to educate and inoculate future German generations about their country’s darkest hour. Putting the academic imprimatur on the beast somehow tames it, converting it from inflammatory political pamphlet to interesting historical artifact. Now it can be taught for what it is. . . .
With the footnotes snaking throughout the text, the new Mein Kampf more closely resembles a theological treatise than a political tract.