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Before the horrors of the Holocaust began, Adolf Hitler wrote his autobiography, Mein Kampf, and it was published in two volumes. Volume 1 was released in 1925 and Volume 2 was released in 1926. The title translates to My Struggle. The book was edited by his deputy, Rudolph Hess. He dictated the book to Hess when he was in jail in 1923 because of a fail coup attempt, which is now know as the Beer Hall Putsch.
The United States publisher of the book, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is giving its profits to Boston’s Jewish Family & Children’s Services. In the ’80s and ’90s, the publisher kept the proceeds themselves, which was around $60,000 a year.
They caught some flack earlier this year for donating the proceeds to a non-Holocaust specific organizations. They were donating to Boston cultural organizations.
Andrew Russell, the publisher’s director of corporate social responsibility, said:
“We have heard voices on many sides of this debate and they reflect the complexity of the issue. Our intention has always been for these funds to have a positive impact.”
The book was a bestseller in the 1930’s. It has been put into the public domain in Germany. In 1945, the Bavarian government banned any re-publication of the book.
Rimma Zelfand, CEO for Jewish Family & Children’s Service, said:
“As Holocaust survivors grow increasingly frail, many of our clients have a far greater need for care than is covered by our existing funding.”
The organization takes care of 270 survivors and the funds will:
“…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 Anti-Defamation League regional director, Robert Trestan, said:
“It’s a reminder that efforts need to be put into combating Antisemitism, educating the next generation about the Holocaust and, of course, supporting the victims.”
Featured image by Val Kerry via Flickr, available under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.