Thursday, October 20, 2016

Germany: 'Critical edition' of Mein Kampf justifies Hitler's antisemitism by quoting Bible, Talmud

Jeremy Adler @ The Times Literary supplement (with thanks to Sam Schulman):
Their typographer, in an essay included in the new edition, has the perversity to claim that his design follows the classic layout of the Talmud, and what he condescendingly refers to as the “Jewish” Bible. The editors seem to be unaware of the insult to Judaism that this involves. There could hardly be anything more inappropriate as an editorial strategy than to adopt the arrangement of the Bible for the layout of Mein Kampf, and thereby to misappropriate the methods of the Rabbis for a book which led to the Holocaust.

While these are largely editorial technicalities, the treatment of Judaism is quite another matter. In some places, contrary to their hermeneutically incoherent precept to “quarantine” the original (“umzingeln”), the editors, however unwittingly, cross the line that divides explication from endorsement. For example, when treating the book’s assertion that the Jews are seeking world domination, a calumny derived from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (1903), the editorial note simply repeats this well-known libel, and has the temerity to adduce the Bible and Talmud as evidence. Thus the team, speaking collectively with the Director of the Institute, maintains that the Jews aim to control the world. This is to treat one of the most egregious examples of anti-Semitic defamation as if it were a matter of proven fact. That such a book should be number one on the Spiegel bestseller list for some weeks (and not just number two, as your reviewer has it) is little short of scandalous. This baneful publication should be withdrawn forthwith. 

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