When the copyright was lifted on Hitler's book of propaganda earlier this year, a decisive annotated edition was released - and became a bestseller. It has now won a significant academic award.
Three years in the making, the annotated edition of "Mein Kampf" "brings to light Hitler's false statements and misrepresentations, corrects factual errors and explains the contemporary context," praised the Leibniz Association on Thursday.
Every two years, the association suggests prize winners to the "Society Needs Science" foundation group, which bestows a prize endowed with 50,000 euros ($53,600) to projects of particular social relevance.
"Historian Christian Hartmann and his team close a gap in the research about National-Socialism in Germany with their historical-critical edition of 'Mein Kampf,'" said the Leibniz Association.
Published in 1925 and 1926, "Mein Kampf" outlines Adolf Hitler's racist ideology and his plans for Germany. After World War II and Hitler's death, the copyright for the book was turned over to the state of Bavaria for 70 years. During that time, publication of "Mein Kampf" was banned.
When the copyright was lifted, Hartmann's annotated edition - intended to serve as a counterweight to far-right republications of the inflammatory work - could be released. It quickly sold 80,000 copies and landed at number one on the bestseller list.
Christian Hartmann and his team share this year's prize with Hamburg-based immunologist Cesar Munoz-Fontela for his contributions to Ebola research. The award will be presented on November 23 in Berlin. "Society Needs Science" is a union of German corporations of all sizes that aim to support education and research. The Leibniz Association is an organization comprising 88 research institutes.
kbm/eg (dpa, AFP)