US sales of ‘Mein Kampf’ will benefit Holocaust survivors in Boston

Julie Wiener

Historic copies of Adolf Hitler's

Historic copies of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” are displayed during the book launch of a new critical edition at the Institut fuer Zeitgeschichte in Munich, Germany, Jan. 8, 2016.
(Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

(JTA) — The U.S. publisher of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” says it will donate all revenues from the infamously anti-Semitic book to a Jewish organization that helps Holocaust survivors in the Boston area.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which is based in Boston, had initially planned to donate proceeds from the Nazi leader’s tract to several non-Jewish cultural organizations, but changed plans after Jewish leaders criticized it, The Associated Press reported Thursday.

The publisher worked with Boston’s Jewish federation to determine “how best to provide aid directly to the victims of the horrific events of the Holocaust,” Andrew Russell, the publisher’s director of corporate social responsibility, said in a statement, according to the AP.

Proceeds will be directed to Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Boston for “direct support of the health and human services needs of (Holocaust) survivors,” Russell said.

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From 2000 until last year, proceeds from “Mein Kampf” had gone to various organizations that fight anti-Semitism. However, according to the AP, last year Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced plans to use the money for cultural organizations as well, prompting an outcry from Jewish critics.

“JF&CS will direct the grant money exclusively to support the needs of the Holocaust survivors we meet with every day,” the Jewish agency’s CEO, Rimma Zelfand, said in a statement. “As Holocaust survivors grow increasingly frail, many of our clients have a far greater need for care than is covered by our existing funding.”

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt declined to say how much money “Mein Kampf” brings in each year.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has published a version of the book continuously since 1933, according to the AP. During World War II, proceeds went to the U.S. Justice Department. From 1979 until 2000, the publisher kept the proceeds for itself, and has since donated it.

The New England branch of the Anti-Defamation League applauded the decision to donate all the proceeds to JF&CS.

“It’s a reminder that efforts need to be put into combatting anti-Semitism, educating the next generation about the Holocaust and, of course, supporting the victims,” Trestan said.

“Mein Kampf” recently was re-published in Germany for the first time since World War II, and a new annotated edition sold out on the first day it was available in January.


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