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Brazilian Jews welcome ban on publication of ‘Mein Kampf’

Print run canceled for Hitler’s anti-Semitic tract, which was translated into Portuguese in ’30s without commentary

Arabic version of Hitler's Mein Kampf on sale in Amman, March 26, 2015 (photo credit: Avi Lewis/Times of Israel, Benyamin Loudmer)
Arabic version of Hitler's Mein Kampf on sale in Amman, March 26, 2015 (photo credit: Avi Lewis/Times of Israel, Benyamin Loudmer)

A Brazilian publisher canceled the release of a new printing of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” autobiography, after strong pressure from the Jewish community and scholars. The move was welcomed by the Jewish community.

Editing company Edipro reportedly decided Thursday to call off a first printing run of 1,000 copies, saying it was an old translation to Portuguese from the 1930s, with no commentary. The release was slated for late January.

Paulo Maltz, the vice president of the Brazilian Israelite Confederation and also president of the Rio de Janeiro Jewish Federation, said that legal procedures are under discussion to prevent national distribution of the autobiography.

“The book is Nazi propaganda and, under Brazilian law selling it is a non-bailable crime,” added Osias Wurman, an honorary consul for Israel in Rio.

However, Wurman joined some major interested publishers in Brazil in giving a thumbs up to an annotated edition, saying: “People need to understand what happened.”

The first page of the two volumes of an early edition of 'Mein Kampf' (Institut für Zeitgeschichte/Alexander Markus Klotz)
The first page of the two volumes of an early edition of ‘Mein Kampf’ (Institut für Zeitgeschichte/Alexander Markus Klotz)

“I will sell it because it’s an historic document and some people have already been looking for it. But it will go straight to the shelves, it won’t be on display,” said Laura Gasparian, owner of Argumento bookstore.

Indeed a 1,000-page edition – with the 650 pages from the original manifesto – is being designed along with 305 notes from an American edition plus other commentary from prominent Brazilian historians.

The 70-year copyright in Germany of the anti-Semitic tract, whose title means “My Struggle,” expired on Jan. 1, allowing it to be published in the country for the first time since World War II.

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