The Central Council of Jews in Germany decided to back the proposal to reprint Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf, which is banned from publication in Germany since 1945.
Munich's Institute for Contemporary History applied this week for permission to reprint the work after 2015, when the German state of Bavaria's copyright is due to expire. It aims to produce an edition containing a critical introduction and footnotes challenging Hitler's assertions. "A scientific edition would help to dispel the peculiar myths surrounding this book," said Horst Möller, the institute's director.
Stephen Kramer, general secretary of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said that the project would "prevent neo-Nazi profiteering".
"An aggressive and enlightening engagement with the book would doubtless remove many of its false, persisting myths," Kramer was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph.
The German state of Bavaria, in which Hitler wrote the book while in jail after his failed 1923 coup attempt, holds exclusive copyright on publishing the book, which it has used to maintain an effective ban and is now rejecting the proposal to reprint it.
A spokesman for the Bavarian government stated that it objects to the republication fearing it would end up serving the wrong groups while many Jewish groups still greatly oppose the step.
Some German scholars also object to the republication and claim it does not provide added value to understanding Nazism. The historian Jürgen Faulenbach said, “The book does not provide any important answers to questions about how the Nazi regime was possible," in a quote to The Independent.
In 1994 Israeli academics Moshe Zimmerman and Oded Heilbronner translated and published several chapters from the book claiming it was for research purposes only. The translation met protest and was quickly removed from stores.