Banned Book of Hitler May Soon Be Published

May 22, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

excerpt (n.) 
[ek-surpt] – a small part of a whole book or written work
Example: I wanted to completely read the novel after reading only an excerpt from it.

2. autobiography (n.) [aw-tuh-bahy-og-ruh-fee, -bee-,aw-toh-] –  a book written or narrated by a person about his or her own life
Example: She wrote an autobiography in which she talks about her struggles as a single mother.

3. unscrupulous (adj.) [uhn-skroo-pyuh-luhs] – lacking respect for laws or for what is good and right
Example: The unscrupulous businessman sells violent books that are banned by the education ministry.
4. holocaust (n.)  [hol-uh-kawst, hoh-luh-] – a situation in which a great number of people die and many things are destroyed
Example: Many people are afraid a holocaust may happen if nuclear plants are not shut down.

5. annotation (n.) [an-uh-tey-shuhn] – a note that explains a text or parts of a written work
Example: I can understand the meaning of the poem because there is an annotation on the same page.

Read the text below.

The German state of Bavaria, which officially owns the copyright to “Mein Kempf, may publish excerpts of the book purely for educational use.  

The book, the title of which translates to “My Struggles”, is an autobiography of Hitler and presents his political views and plans to conquer Europe.

Publication of the book has been banned in Germany since 1945, but the ban will end on December 31, 2015.  Bavaria is now struggling with the issue of how to prevent unscrupulous use of the book when the ban ends.  The government wishes to protect the memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

The Bavarian State Finance Ministry believes only excerpts of the book should be published. These excerpts will be published in such a way that they will be suitable for use in schools and universities.

The ministry is also considering an edition of the excerpts with annotations from German historians.

Peter McGee, a British publisher, criticized the Bavarian State for refusing to publish the whole book.  He says the German people should be given a chance to judge the book themselves.  This way, the book will finally lose its mystery and will be regarded as just another part of German history.

Other critics have said the Bavarian government does not realize there is no more need to hide the book. They say the complete book is already published in other countries and can easily be found on the Internet.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A 

·         Do you agree with the Bavarian State that Hitler’s book should not be published?  Why?
·         Is it fair for students to read only excerpts instead of the book itself?  Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         What do you think are lessons we can learn from reading the autobiography of Hitler?
What benefits do you think we could get from reading autobiographies of famous people in history?    


May 22, 2012