Mein Kampf Workshop

Mein Kampf, warrant for genocide or corpus delicti?: In the public domain from 2016

Location: The University of Manchester, School of Arts, Languages and Cultures

Organised by:
-        The research project “Corpses of mass violence and genocide” (www.corpsesofmassviolence.eu)
-        The Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Manchester (http://www.manchesterjewishstudies.org/)
-        Hate Prevention Initiative (http://hateprevention.org/)

Date: Friday 7 February 2014
Time: 11:00am-5:15pm

Location: The University of Manchester, University Place 2.220

On January 1st 2016, Mein Kampf, the most controversial book of the European 20th Century, will come into the public domain. The State of Bavaria, that owns the copyright, will be unable to further exercise any control over the publication, whether in German or in other languages. It is necessary to reach a decision about the future of the book: should it be banned or at least its circulation limited or, to the contrary, largely read, particularly by young people?

In Paris, the Hate Prevention Initiative is working on a law, in collaboration with the Prime Minister’s Office. This law should request the publication of a “Warning” in any newly published volume of Mein Kampf, including in the Internet. This event will also be an opportunity for a consultation on this initiative on a European level.

This workshop, following a previous event held in Paris on September 12 2011 (http://carism.u-paris2.fr/manifestations/journees-detudes), will nurture the debate on this question, and by, first of all, describing the social and political history of the book. Historians, legal scholars and criminologists will consider and describe different aspects of Mein Kampf’s troubled history, be it in the Third Reich, its translation in different countries around Europe, or its post-war reception and dissemination. It will also consider the issue of hate speech on the Internet: Mein Kampf is available online in different languages on various platforms. How can the free dissemination of the book be prevented?

A general discussion on the political and legal issues around the book from 2016 will emerge from the presentations.

Programme

11.00-11.30: Reception of the participants

11.30-13.00: Panel 1 Reading the book

Chair: Jean-Marc Dreyfus
- Maiken Umbach (University of Nottingham  ), Mein Kampf, the metaphor of the mask and the Nazi spatial imagination(s)
- Neil Gregor (University of Southampton), The languages of Mein Kampf
- Jon Shute (The University of Manchester), Mein Kampf read by a criminologist
- Michael Hoelzl (The University of Manchester), Hitler’s theology as read in Mein Kampf

13.00-14.00: Lunch

14.00-15.30: Panel 2 Dissemination of the book

Chair: Jean-Marc Dreyfus (The University of Manchester), The translation of Mein Kampf in the UK
- Ion Popa (University of Manchester) Mein Kampf in Romania
- Atreyee Sen (University of Manchester) The case of India

15.30-15.45: Tea break

15.45-17.15: Panel 3 What to do now?

Chair: Angus Kennedy (The Institute of Ideas, London)
- Philippe Coen (Hate Prevention Initiative, founder and president)
- Caroline Fournet (University of Groningen, Netherlands)