Robot 6

Israeli diplomat criticizes ‘Mein Kampf’ manga, gets Bible series

mein kampf2

The Israeli ambassador to Japan was shocked to discover a manga adaptation of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf on the shelf of a Tokyo bookstore, so much so that he arranged a meeting with publisher East Press to express his dismay.

Ynetnews reports that while the publisher apologized and said he didn’t realize the book would offend anyone — it was released in 2008 as part of a series of historical adaptations that included Karl Marx’s Das Kapital and Tolstoy’s War and Peace — he explained that Mein Kampf had already sold out.

And so Ambassador Nissim Ben-Shitrit came up with a solution that, in his view, would provide a bit of balance: three manga adaptations of Bible stories, illustrated by some of the Mein Kampf artists. The books are now available in Japanese and in English from Easter Press.

“When I saw the drawing of Hitler with swastikas and Japanese captions, I was shocked,”  Ben-Shitrit told Ynetnews. “It’s unthinkable that an enlightened person would read Hitler’s book. Luckily, the book has exhausted itself and is no longer on the shelves. Now I’m hoping that young people in Japan will be exposed to the heroes of the Bible. I don’t think that they maliciously intended to publish something anti-Semitic.”

East Press’ Mein Kampf outperformed its other historical adaptations, selling about 45,000 copies in its first year of release. Editor Kōsuke Maruo explained the publisher released the book because, “It is a famous book, but there are few who have read it. I think it is [studying] material for knowing Hitler, a man synonymous with ‘devil,’ and what sort of thinking created that level of tragedy.”

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18 Comments

Well, the Bible is responsible for a lot more murders than Mein Kampf, so I’m not sure how that helps…

I did nazi that coming…

Well, the Bible is responsible for a lot more murders than Mein Kampf, so I’m not sure how that helps…

How are you measuring that? Total since publication date? Average per year since publication? Average number of people killed by average fan of said book? Do you have any statistics at all?

Many people see the Bible as inspiring non-violence and compassion. Do you have any people seriously arguing that Mein Kampf teaches non-violence?

Point being that the Bible is a complex narrative, there is no way to argue that there is a single message. Mein Kampf, on the other hand, is unambiguously a narrative focussed on arguing that a single race people need to be exterminated. Sorry that you can’t tell the difference.

LOL, so it’s not okay to publish an adaptation’s of Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”, but it’s totally valid to adapt the Bible, a sickening, deeply disturbing book starring a jealous, warmongering, bloodlust “god”. Yeah, sure..

Obviously, I was meaning “adaptation”, not “adaptation’s”. Sorry about the typo.

So heilarious.

Bob’s puns are the only positive thing about these comments.

I didn’t mean to cause a fuhrer. I’ll stop now.

I guess he hasn’t seen the rape-themed video games, the body pillows, the boob mouse-pads, the panty vending machines, the art-book depicting dictators as Moe girls, among other things. I’m thinking there is always one thing in the Japanese media that’ll offend somebody.

potentially NSFW

I wonder if the ambassador would have been as offended if the book was text only. Sounds like a case of the comics-are-for-kids mentality. Most people don’t realize that Japan produces a lot of educational manga on things like economics and government policy. Which appears to be the case here. No one was trying to indoctrinate young people into embracing Nazism.

Most people don’t realize that Japan produces a lot of educational manga on things like economics and government policy. Which appears to be the case here. No one was trying to indoctrinate young people into embracing Nazism.

And most people also don’t realize that many Japanese politicians, writers, and publishers actively engage in white-washing the atrocities committed by Japanese forces during the 1930s and ’40s and so there certainly is some concern that some might similarly engage in whitewashing the atrocities committed by their allies.

@Ian I don’t think the Japanese have any problem teaching about other countries’ atrocities, just their own. I’m pretty sure they teach the Holocaust in Japan. Plus, it’s not like we don’t have our share of Holocaust deniers in America.

@Ian Oh, I dunno. I guess I don’t find the recommendation to smash babies against rocks for the crime of being from a different tribe particularly inspiring. But whatever floats your boat.

Both Sirkowski and Ian have valid points. While the Bible has inspired global genocide (including in the U.S….lest we forget that North America used to be teeming with heathen savages), the conquistadors, crusaders, and inquisitors of Christianity (or Islam for that matter) did not keep records as well as the more modern bureaucrats of the Nazi regime. My own guess is that if you could somehow tabulate the 2000-year body count, in absolute numbers it would make the more concentrated killing of the 12-year Reich look like an ice cream social.

But surely the Bible has been proven over the centuries to have some redeeming (no pun intended) content in there amongst the tribal hocus pocus, which seriously cannot be said of Adolf’s manifesto.

@A But Mein Kampf is available in libraries and bookstores in America, just like the Bible. And the Bible has been used to preach hate against certain groups of people, including the Jews. Also, if you think censoring evil ideas prevents them from being promoted or adopted, think again. In Germany, where I believe Mein Kampf is illegal,they have a serious Neo Nazi problem.

As an Israeli, I am not pleased with an IL ambassador pushing a company to publish stories about “Bible heroes”. Israel is a secular state.
Then again, so is the US, and their officials use god all the time…

“It’s unthinkable that an enlightened person would read Hitler’s book.”
Seriously? Being enlightened includes sheltering yourself from history?

I’m ashamed he’s my ambassador.

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