Sunday, June 20, 2010

Slowly but steadily, a decade-old business around the dead German leader Adolf Hitler is emerging as a small-scale industry in India

Books and memorabilia on the German leader's life have found a steady market in some sections of Indian society where he is idolized and admired, mostly by the young. The numbers are small but seem to be growing. A Bollywood film - Dear Friend Hitler - is due to be released by the end of 2010, focusing on the dictator's relationship with his mistress Eva Braun. Books, T-shirts, bags and key-rings with his photo or name on do sell in India and his autobiography, Mein Kampf, sells the most. Jaico, the largest publisher and distributor of Mein Kampf in India, has sold more than a 100,000 copies since 2000. Crossword, an India-wide chain of book stores, has sold more than 25,000 copies since 2000 and says that it has been a consistent bestseller for them. The more well-heeled the area, the higher the sales. The book has several editions and is available in vernacular Indian languages too. There are at least seven publishers now competing with Jaico. Mein Kampf sells well in other parts of the world too. In the United States, it sold 26,000 copies in 2009. In 2005 it sold 100,000 copies in Turkey in just a few months. The Arabic imprint is popular in the Palestinian territories. Nearly all the booksellers and publishers contacted in India say it is mainly young people who read Mein Kampf. In the past, a couple of right-wing Hindu leaders have also expressed their admiration for Hitler.

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