World War II was one of the most destructive wars in human history. Today, not many people are alive from that era and it’s only from the monuments in the places most affected by the war, do we get a glimpse of those dark times.
Many, however, learn more about the war from the books written at that time. Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf (My Struggles) and Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl can be considered as the two sides of the same coin. These two iconic books are instrumental in providing a rather grim view of those times. While one outlines the rather perverted anti-Semitic idealism that led to a state-sponsored genocide, the other, gives a personal account of a young life where hopes are replaced by fear.
These books are now back in the news for a different reason. Both have entered The Public Domain, i.e., they have now joined the ranks of creative works that are available to the public without being subject to copyright or other legal restrictions. Both The Bavarian State, that held the rights for Mein Kampf, and the organization called Anne Frank Fonds, that held the copyright of Anne Frank’s Diary, had to relinquish their rights when these books entered The Public Domain on 1st January 2016, as the original authors have been dead for more than 70 years.