NEW DELHI: More than seven decades after the end of the second world war, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s writings are once again popular in Germany. The surge in sales has prompted German state prosecutors to consider legal action to keep them in check.

To put things in context, part of the reason for the spike in sales is that until the end of 2015, the Bavarian government held the book’s copyright; this year, the book entered the public domain. Publishers responded with several new editions -- an overwhelming majority of which are academic in nature, with interpretations and analyses critical of the rise of the Nazi ideology.

However, so far, there is one edition that is decidedly not academic. It’s the same version written and published by Hitler in 1925, and printed by right-wing publisher Der Schelm. Other books published by the house include “Zionism, Enemy of the State” and Henry Ford's “International Jew”. It is this edition by this publisher that has prompted state prosecutors to consider a lawsuit, based on the allegation that the book could incite violence.

And whilst it is possible that the book is being read more widely with a more critical outlook -- the context of Europe, which is seeing a right-wing resurgence across countries, makes that possibility a little less likely. As Daniel A. Gross notes in an article on PRI, “Maybe we shouldn't worry about whether 'Mein Kampf' is being read, but rather how 'Mein Kampf' is being read. Some news stories have suggested that the popularity of 'Mein Kampf' could signal that German politics are lurching to the right. This may be true in the case of the right-wing publisher Der Schelm.”

In the last few years, Germany has seen a huge surge in right wing politics. In February this year, Alternative for Germany (AfD) became the country’s third most popular political force -- thanks to its anti-immigration stance.

For those who haven’t heard of AfD, the leaders of the party made international headlines recently for wanting to “shoot refugees.” Chancellor Angela Merkel's government rejected AfD leader Frauke Petry’s suggestion that the police be equipped to use firearms against immigrants.

Although the statement sounds absurd, it represents a political crisis in Germany where polls indicate that a vast majority of people believe that the government has lost track of the refugee crisis -- and parties like the AfD are the beneficiaries of that loss of faith. 81 percent of the number of survey respondents told ARD's Deutschlandtrend poll they didn't think the government had the refugee situation under control.

Public opinion in Germany is turning against Chancellor Angela Merkel and her immigration policy, which has brought more than 1 million asylum-seekers to the country in the past year.

Things only got worse after the New Year’s Eve attacks in Cologne, when men believed to have been migrants from North African countries sexually harassed a large number of women.

However, the right-wing, anti-immigration, anti-Muslim sentiment has been gaining momentum in Germany, far before the Cologne attacks or the Paris attacks claimed by the Islamic State that led to an increase in such sentiment across Europe.

Take the example of Pegida (Patriotische Europäer gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes/ Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident), as the group’s rallies drew out thousands of supporters.

In addition to Pegida, another such party is the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD), Germany’s largest neo-Nazi organization that has five lawmakers in the parliament of the eastern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Following the Paris attacks, an attack on a Hamburg newspaper office that republished cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad which had originally been printed by Charlie Hebdo in 2006, further contributed to rising tensions.

As tensions increase, so does the violence. After the NYE Cologne attacks, Pakistanis and Syrians were attacked as tensions escalated. Clashes first broke out between far-right protesters and fundamentalist Muslims known as Salafists in Cologne in October 2014. Other incidents of clashes between anti-Islam protesters and police have been reported since.

The situation even prompted German Chancellor Angela Merkel to criticize the anti-Muslim rhetoric. "Of course there's freedom to demonstrate in Germany… But it's no place for agitation and mud-slinging against people who come to us from other countries,” the German chancellor said.

Other political figures have condemned the anti-Islamic protests as well. Justice Minister Heiko Maas told the Süddeutsche Zeitung that the country was living through “a new level of escalation in agitation against migrants and refugees” adding that Pegida was “a shame for Germany.”

Unfortunately, the anti-Muslim, anti-immigration rhetoric seems to be working, as Germans who are frustrated with the current leadership are looking for an alternative. Public opinion in Germany is currently deeply divided, with a definite constituency for the anti-immigration groups.

“Those from the pro-refugee camp are dismissed as naive dreamers. Those against the open-door policy are quickly branded right-wing radicals or Nazis,” wrote Alexander Kudascheff, editor-in-chief of German broadcaster Deutsche Welle. “The political discourse has gone off the rails.”

Germany, however, is not alone in seeing the rise of anti-immigrant, right-wing politics. The United Kingdom’s recent referendum that gave the edge to the “leave” the European Union camp was the outcome of exactly this kind of politics. Of the reasons cited by several “leave” voters, anti-immigration was one of the most prominent factors.

In fact, the Brexit -- as it has come to be called -- only made the anti-immigration, Euroskeptical parties in other European countries louder. In the Netherlands, the Paris attacks seeed to have bolstered for populist leader Geert Wilder’s Freedom Party, with support for the anti-Islamic party jumping to its highest level in more than a year.

In Greece, the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party entered Parliament in 2012 and seems to be gaining strength. In Sweden, the anti-immigration Sweden Democratic Party jumped to 13 percent of the vote in 2014.

The dismal state of the European economy, of course, doesn’t help. Caught in recession it has parallels with the 1930s -- when economic misery helped radicalise middle and working classes. The conditions are the right setting for a breeding ground culminating in leaders who allege that the real culprit are Islamic immigrants -- who are lapping up all the available jobs (a picture bearing little resemblance to the socio-economic reality).

If Europe is to counter this wave of Islamophobia that is clearly on the rise, lawmakers will have to find a way to connect with the ordinary citizens -- many of whom have turned to right-wing parties and protests not because of ideology but because of a feeling of lack of political accountability and economic dissatisfaction.