Through a unique application of copyright laws, Germany has enforced a de facto ban on the publishing of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf since 1945. As the expiration date (2015) for those copyright laws near, a debate has risen over whether or not it could be advisable to publish a version of the text again, under controlled circumstances, for critical purposes.
In Japan, however, East Press (a publisher that has already done interpretations of many classic texts, from Kafka’s Metamorphosis to Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment to Marx’s Das Kapital) published a manga version of Mein Kampf this year, to the tune of some 45,ooo book sales.
From Anime News Network:
Kōsuke Maruo, a 32-year-old editor at East Press, explained why his company produced the manga version of Mein Kampf: “It is a famous book, but there are few who have read it. I think it is [studying] material for knowing Hitler, a man synonymous with ‘devil,’ and what sort of thinking created that level of tragedy.”
While the intent may be educational, the execution still seems questionable to me. If someone hasn’t read and or studied Mein Kampf, should their first exposure really be with illustrations and interpretive storyboards?
Frankly, I don’t think so. But try telling 45,000 manga fans that.
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