In January this year Mein Kampf (My Struggle), the 1925 memoir by Adolf Hitler, hit bookstores in Germany for the first time since the end of the second World War. The book was never explicitly banned in Germany, but the government of Bavaria that held the copyright to it refrained from publishing it. With the end of 2015 marking 70 years since the author's death, the book came into Germany's public domain.
At a time when Europe is witnessing a massive refugee crisis and rising racism, the timing for the publishing of the book which, among other things, details Hitler's genocidal logic, has been seen as problematic by many.
The Berlin branch of advertising agency Ogilvy and Mather responded to it with a powerful counter campaign, publishing a book titled Mein Kampf Gegen Rechts (My Struggle Against Racism) – accounts of 11 different individuals who have fought against xenophobia and racism – as a counter to Hitler's autobiography.
Featured in the video above are six of these people: Frank Kimmerle, Jose Paca, Wana Limar, Robert Koall, Irmela Mensah Schramm, and Andreas Holstein.
Tim Stuebane, executive creative director at Ogilvy Berlin and leader of the book project, told Adweek, “Due to the immigration of refugees, we are facing in Germany a growing right-wing extremism and an open everyday racism.”
“In the last election, a new right-wing party shot from 0 to 24 percent. All this is very painful to see. We had to do something against it, but what? Then we learned that Hitler’s Mein Kampf would be republished. We thought – absolutely the wrong signal at this point of time.”
The project seeks to “reclaim the conception of the words 'mein kampf' from the Nazis”, Stuebane said.
The 11,000 copies printed in the first edition have nearly sold out and, spurred on by media coverage, the agency says in this video that Mein Kampf Against Racism became Unser Kampf (our struggle) against racism. One Euro from each book sold goes to Gesicht Zeigen, a nonprofit group that encourages people to stand against racism.