A new edition of “Mein Kampf” brings attention back to anti-Semitism in Germany 70 years after Adolf Hitler’s death, eliciting concern at California Baptist University, as well as in Germany.
The text, “Hitler, Mein Kampf: A Critical Edition,” was released after the original copyright, held by the German State of Bavaria, expired Jan. 1. The two-volume reprint attacks the validity of the text and brings light to the lies Hitler told.
Dr. Daniel Skubik, professor of history at CBU, teaches most of the Holocaust courses on campus that are required for the Holocaust concentration. Skubik said he has social science concerns as well as concerns for those affected in regards to the reprint of Mein Kampf.
“I am torn myself,” Skubik said. “Yes, it is valuable to have a critical edition, especially in German, done by German scholars. But, if I were German or a victim, or a child of a victim, I am not sure how I would feel. The reprint gives the book attention it doesn’t deserve—don’t highlight it.”
Skubik’s concern stems from a view of “Mein Kampf” as being “wholly unbelievable” and “off the rails” in terms of its subject matter and content.
“Research has shown that you cannot defeat the lie by repeating it and then trying to explain why it is a lie; it will reinforce it,” Skubik said. “You kill a lie by not telling it.”
The CBU Library has a large Holocaust and World War II section housed in the Victorian Room. The library also boasts one of the largest audio and visual records in the state.
Helen Xu, cataloging librarian, maintains the record of items in the library, including those within the Nie Weider! collection.
Dr. Wayland Marler, professor at CBU from the early 1960s to the early 2000s, contributed a great number of books to the library.
“(Marler) founded the collection with artifacts and books he had,” Xu said.
Versions of “Mein Kampf” are currently available in the library. However, it is not a text utilized often in courses.