Itongadol.- Germany\’s teacher association said Friday that an annotated edition of Adolf Hitler\’s "Mein Kampf" should be taught in senior high school to help "inoculate" teenagers against political extremism, AFP reported.
The Nazi leader\’s anti-Semitic diatribe has not been printed in Germany since the end of World War II, but an annotated and critical edition is set to be published next year.
The rights to the book have been held for 70 years by the state of Bavaria, which has refused to allow reprints, but the copyright runs out at the end of 2015.
German authorities have announced that they still plan to prosecute publishers of unedited reprints on charges of "inciting racial hatred".
However, Munich\’s Institute of Contemporary History plans to publish in January "Hitler, Mein Kampf. A Critical Edition", which adds context to the hateful rant with historical commentary in some 3,500 annotations.
The teachers\’ association proposed that selected passages from the book should be taught to students aged 16 and over, reported the online edition of business newspaper Handelsblatt.
Educators could not ignore the inflammatory text anyway, said the association\’s head Josef Kraus, citing the lure of the forbidden for young people.
Instead, the propaganda pamphlet should enter the curriculum and be presented "by savvy history and politics teachers" as that this could help "inoculate adolescents against political extremism".
Prominent German Jewish community leader Charlotte Knobloch opposed the idea, telling the newspaper that using the "profoundly anti-Jewish diatribe" as teaching material would be irresponsible.
The educational policy spokesman for the center-left Social Democrats, lawmaker Ernst Dieter Rossmann, supported the teachers\’ body.
"\’Mein Kampf\’ is a terrible and monstrous book," he told the Handelsblatt but added, "To historically unmask this anti-Semitic, dehumanizing polemical pamphlet and to explain the propaganda mechanism through appropriately qualified teachers is a task of modern education."
In times of rising right-wing populism, teaching humanist values and democratic principles is indispensable, he argued.
News of the republishing of the book garnered opposition, mainly from Jewish groups and Holocaust survivors.
But the Central Council of Jews in Germany later said it does not object to the publication of the critical, scientifically-annotated version of the book.
In 2014, French auction house Pierre Bergé & Associés withdrew from sale a rare first edition of “Mein Kampf” following a protest from a Jewish watchdog body.
Two copies of “Mein Kampf” which had been signed by Hitler were controversially auctioned in Los Angeles that year and sold for nearly $65,000. The text at one point also became an Amazon.com bestseller.