March 24, 2002
An Arabic translation of Hitler’s Mein Kampf which has become a bestseller in
the Palestinian territories is now on sale in Britain. The book, Hitler’s account of
his life and anti-Semitic ideology written while he was in prison in the 1920s, is
normally found in Britain in academic or political bookshops.
But The Telegraph found it on sale in three newsagents on Edgware Road,
central London, an area with a large Arab population.
The book, originally translated in the 1960s and revived by Bisan, a Lebanese
publisher in the 1990s, has a picture of Hitler and a swastika on the cover and
is selling for 10 pounds.
Although the Bavarian state government, which claims copyright in the text,
has tried to stop its publication around the world, Mein Kampf became the sixth
best selling book in the Palestinian Authority area.
Copies of the translation are understood to have been distributed to London
shops towards the end of last year and have been selling well.
In the preface, Luis al-Haj, the translator, states: “National Socialism did not die
with the death of its herald. Rather, its seeds multiplied under each star.”
The book was on sale alongside newspapers, magazines, cigarettes and sweets
at a newsagent’s kiosk.
“People are interested in it,” said the shop assistant. “It is legal to sell it.
London is a free city and, anyway, he has been dead a very long time.”
Andrew Dismore, Labour MP for Hendon, said the distribution of an Arabic
version of Mein Kampf was “a very worrying trend” and he would be tabling
questions to the Home Secretary.