Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf will be available to buy in Germany for the first time in 70 years.
Reprinting the Nazi manifesto was banned after WW2 by Bavaria’s regional government, which held the copyright.
The copyright has now expired and Munich’s Institute of Contemporary History is to publish a new edition.
Its annotated version, with thousands of academic notes, will aim is to show that Mein Kampf (My Struggle) is incoherent and badly written, rather than powerful or seductive.
Many Jewish groups have welcomed this particular publication, saying it is important to have access to a critical edition to help explain the Holocaust.
Mein Kampf was originally printed in 1925 – eight years before Adolf Hitler came to power.
After Nazi Germany was defeated in 1945, the Allied forces handed the copyright to the book to the state of Bavaria.
The local authorities have refused to allow the book to be reprinted to prevent incitement of hatred, although the book was so widely printed during the war that it remained relatively easily available.
Under European copyright law, the rights of an author of a literary or artistic work runs for the life of the author and for 70 years after his death – in Adolf Hitler’s case on April 30 1945, when he shot himself in his bunker in Berlin.
Those rights cease on the first day of January, 70 years after Hitler’s death, and so publishers now have free access to the original text.
However, German officials have said they will limit public access to the text amid fears that this could stir neo-Nazi sentiment.