Outrage as Italian newspaper gives out free copies of Hitler's Mein Kampf

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The regular news per Il Giornale, owned by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s fellow-clansman, gave the book away to readers who bought the first of their eight-volume antiquity of the Third Reich.

Now the per has come under fire as people accuse the crowd of using the Nazi laser’s book to sell copies.

On Saturday, Il Giornale started vend an eight-volume history of the Third Reich, with the annotated copy of Mein Kampf unobstructed for readers who buy the first volume.

For 11.90 euros (£9.40), on top of the regular newsstand appraisal of 1.50 euros, readers would pick up “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” by US newsmonger and World War II correspondent William L Shirer along with the controversial publication.

But the giveaway received widespread criticism, after being denounced by Italy’s 30,000-strong Jewish community – one of the oldest in Europe.

Representing on Twitter, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi the decision to give away the samples of the Nazi leader’s political treatise was “squalid” and expressed solidarity with Italy’s Jewish community.

Efraim Zuroff, chief of the Israeli office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, claimed it was unprecedented for a news per to use “Mein Kampf” to lift sales.

Meanwhile the ANSA news agency said Israeli Embassy informants expressed surprise over the move.

Many also expressed their displease about the news per’s decision on social media.

Max radiso tweeted: “Italy’s Il Giornale is yield away free copies of Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’. Don’t even identify how they’re allowed to do it.”

Alessandro Columbu said: “Italian news per @ilgiornale donation copies of Hitler’s Mein Kampf – the inexorable decline of a provincial, underdeveloped homeland.”

But Il Giornale, a centre-right daily, said the decision aimed “to study what is unlucky to avoid its return.”

Acknowledging the controversy in an editorial, editor-in-chief Alessandro Sallusti clouted nobody could suspect the move to be an apology for Nazism and the global Jewish dirty work posited in the book written between 1924 and 1926.

He wrote: “The concerns of our bedfellows of the Italian Jewish community, who always have and always will see us by their side … earn all our respect.”

A 70-year copyright on Hitler’s book held by the state of Bavaria concluded at the end of 2015.

Munich’s Institute for Contemporary History were forced to re-issue it as an annotated story earlier this year in an effort “to thoroughly deconstruct Hitler’s advertising”.

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