Publishing house to donate proceeds from ‘Mein Kampf’ sales to Holocaust survivors
(CNN) — Its title is known the world over, and its hateful contents have made it both a best-seller and arguably the most scorned book in history. Now, a Boston-based publisher is making sure Adolf Hitler’s infamous manifesto “Mein Kampf” actually does some good in the world.
According to the Boston Globe, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has published the tome since 1933 and began donating proceeds from the book to charities in 2000. Though it’s been a tough road — the recipients of the money and the nature of the exchanges have been debated — it seems as if the publisher has struck a productive balance by partnering with the Jewish Family & Children’s Service.
The JF&CS works directly with aging Holocaust survivors, a mission that Houghton Mifflin’s director of corporate social responsibility said is exactly what they wanted to be a part of.
“Our intention has always been for these funds to have a positive impact,” Andrew Russell told the Globe.
Houghton Mifflin did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.
The JF&CS said the group appreciates the arrangement.
“JF&CS will direct the grant money exclusively to support the needs of the Holocaust survivors we meet with every day,” the center’s CEO Rimma Zelfand said in a statement provided to CNN.
“…As Holocaust survivors grow increasingly frail, many of our clients have a far greater need for care than is covered by our existing funding,” she continued. “The JF&CS Board of Directors and Executive Team fully support the use of this grant from HMH to help ensure that we can meet the growing needs of our clients and make it possible for aging survivors to continue living safely and comfortably in their own homes.”
The publisher’s announcement comes amid what appears to be a renewed interest in the book. Earlier in June, Italian paper Il Giornale offered free reprints of “Mein Kampf” to readers who purchased a special supplement of the paper. While the paper said it was in an attempt to provide an “antidote to the toxicity of national-socialism,” critics were outraged at the promotion. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi called the stunt “sordid.”
The renewed interest may have something to do with publishing rights. The copyright on “Mein Kampf” ran out at the end of 2015, and the book has since been republished in Germany, where production was previously banned.