Hitler’s 1925 autobiographical manifesto, Mein Kampf, has become a surprise best seller in the e-book market.
A 99-cent e-book version tops Amazon’s propaganda and spin chart in the United Kingdom, another 99-cent from Elite Minds sits in 11th place on Amazon.com’s World War II charts, it is number four in the history-reference section, number six in the German history section, and number 20 in the World War II biographies and memoirs section, according to the British newspaper the Guardian.
On the website Vocativ.com, author and journalist Chris Faraone wrote that “more than a dozen free English-language versions of Mein Kampf have been downloaded in excess of 100,000 times from the nonprofit Internet Archive alone.” He suggested that the reason the book, in which Hitler described the “Jewish peril” and his belief that the Jews were working towards world domination, has become so popular is that it can be read “in the privacy of our own iPads.”
He added that it could be “a cultural curiosity much like what’s happened with sleazy romance novels, which surveys show are increasingly consumed in more clandestine e-form.” Its sales, Faraone said, “could be following a similar trend to that of smut and romance novels.”
Print versions of the book have remained minimal for years, but Faraone wrote that its various e-book versions have consistently appeared on the “top 20” politics, history and philosophy charts of such retailers as iTunes and Amazon.
Noting that fact, Faraone wrote: “People might not have wanted to buy Mein Kampf at Borders or have it delivered to their home or displayed on their living room bookshelf, let alone get spotted reading it on a subway. But judging by hundreds of customer comments online, readers like that digital copies can be quietly perused then dropped into a folder or deleted.”