Good or bad books, access to them provides everyone the chance to understand history better.
Two seminal World War 2 era works are on the cusp of becoming free to the public, as Hitler‘s Mein Kampf and Anne Frank’s Diary are becoming public domain as of January 1st. Naturally, with these two specific texts potentially becoming available to anyone free of charge, many issues are arising. Matters of money, matter of what’s right, and the fact that Mein Kampf hasn’t been printed for nearly three-quarters of a century out of respect for those lost to the Nazis. Now, Hitler’s book will be available to everyone, and in more languages than ever before.
Due to Mein Kampf‘s entering into the public domain, it will finally be reprinted in Germany for the first time in over 70 years. With the world in an ideological flux (depending on who you talk to), the spreading of Hitler’s ideas (that he gathered while serving time in prison for high treason) seems like a tough pill to swallow for some that hope to curb rhetoric by certain politicians who also have a very recognizable hairstyle.
When it comes to The Diary of a Young Girl, or The Diary of Anne Frank as you likely know it, the Anne Frank Fund is threatening legal action to anyone who reprints or distributes her diary. This is due to a contentious copyright of a 1986 version published by the Dutch State Institute for War Documentation. This would put the copyright expiration at 2037.
Of course, the thought that Mein Kampf can now become a best seller and atop the Amazon book list is scary, but so is the thought that any of the funds that go to the Dutch State Institute for War Documentation could be lost. In 1980, Otto Frank, who “supposedly” co-authored his daughter’s diary, willed the manuscript away. Now just about anyone could potentially make money off Anne Frank’s diary. And Hitler’s insanity.