90 years ago on this date, July 18, 1925, Adolf Hitler published his personal manifesto Mein Kampf. I will post information about this book from Wikipedia and other links.
REMINDER: Keep in mind, I am not antisemitic and I have Jewish friends too. I do it for educational purposes.
Dust jacket of the book Mein Kampf, written by Adolf Hitler. Courtesy of the New York Public Library Digital Collection. (1926 to 1927)
Autobiography, Political theory
18 July 1925
Published in English
13 October 1933 (abridged)
Zweites Buch (unpublished)
Mein Kampf (pronounced [maɪ̯n kampf], "My Struggle") is an autobiographical manifesto by National Socialist leader Adolf Hitler, in which he outlines his political ideology and future plans for Germany. Volume 1 of Mein Kampf was published in 1925 and Volume 2 in 1926. The book was edited by Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess.
Hitler began dictating the book to Hess while imprisoned for what he considered to be "political crimes" following his failed Putsch in Munich in November 1923. Although Hitler received many visitors initially, he soon devoted himself entirely to the book. As he continued, Hitler realized that it would have to be a two-volume work, with the first volume scheduled for release in early 1925. The governor of Landsberg noted at the time that "he [Hitler] hopes the book will run into many editions, thus enabling him to fulfill his financial obligations and to defray the expenses incurred at the time of his trial."
Hitler originally wanted to call his forthcoming book Viereinhalb Jahre (des Kampfes) gegen Lüge, Dummheit und Feigheit, or Four and a Half Years (of Struggle) Against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice. Max Amann, head of the Franz Eher Verlag and Hitler's publisher, is said to have suggested the much shorter "Mein Kampf" or "My Struggle".
The arrangement of chapters is as follows:
- Volume One: A Reckoning
- Chapter 1: In the House of my Parents
- Chapter 2: Years of Study and Suffering in Vienna
- Chapter 3: General Political Considerations Based on my Vienna Period
- Chapter 4: Munich
- Chapter 5: The World War
- Chapter 6: War Propaganda
- Chapter 7: The Revolution
- Chapter 8: The Beginning of my Political Activity
- Chapter 9: The "German Workers' Party"
- Chapter 10: Causes of the Collapse
- Chapter 11: Nation and Race
- Chapter 12: The First Period of Development of the National Socialist German Workers' Party
- Volume Two: The National Socialist Movement
- Chapter 1: Philosophy and Party
- Chapter 2: The State
- Chapter 3: Subjects and Citizens
- Chapter 4: Personality and the Conception of the Völkisch State
- Chapter 5: Philosophy and Organization
- Chapter 6: The Struggle of the Early Period – the Significance of the Spoken Word
- Chapter 7: The Struggle with the Red Front
- Chapter 8: The Strong Man Is Mightiest Alone
- Chapter 9: Basic Ideas Regarding the Meaning and Organization of the Sturmabteilung
- Chapter 10: Federalism as a Mask
- Chapter 11: Propaganda and Organization
- Chapter 12: The Trade-Union Question
- Chapter 13: German Alliance Policy After the War
- Chapter 14: Eastern Orientation or Eastern Policy
- Chapter 15: The Right of Emergency Defense
In Mein Kampf, Hitler used the main thesis of "the Jewish peril", which posits a Jewish conspiracy to gain world leadership. The narrative describes the process by which he became increasingly antisemitic and militaristic, especially during his years in Vienna. He speaks of not having met a Jew until he arrived in Vienna, and that at first his attitude was liberal and tolerant. When he first encountered the anti-semitic press, he says, he dismissed it as unworthy of serious consideration. Later he accepted the same anti-semitic views, which became crucial in his program of national reconstruction of Germany.
Mein Kampf has also been studied as a work on political theory. For example, Hitler announces his hatred of what he believed to be the world's two evils: Communism and Judaism. The new territory that Germany needed to obtain would properly nurture the "historic destiny" of the German people; this goal, which Hitler referred to as Lebensraum (living space), explains why Hitler aggressively expanded Germany eastward, specifically the invasions of Czechoslovakia and Poland, before he launched his attack against the Soviet Union. In Mein Kampf Hitler openly states that the future of Germany "has to lie in the acquisition of land in the East at the expense of Russia."
During his work, Hitler blamed Germany's chief woes on the parliament of the Weimar Republic, the Jews, and Social Democrats, as well as Marxists, though he believed that Marxists, Social Democrats, and the parliament were all working for Jewish interests. He announced that he wanted to completely destroy the parliamentary system, believing it to be corrupt in principle, as those who reach power are inherent opportunists.
While historians diverge on the exact date Hitler decided to forcibly emigrate the Jewish people to Madagascar, few place the decision before the mid 1930s. First published in 1925, Mein Kampf shows the ideas that crafted Hitler's personal grievances and ambitions for creating a New Order.
The racial laws to which Hitler referred resonate directly with his ideas in Mein Kampf. In his first edition of Mein Kampf, Hitler stated that the destruction of the weak and sick is far more humane than their protection. Apart from his allusion to humane treatment, Hitler saw a purpose in destroying "the weak" in order to provide the proper space and purity for the "strong".
Although Hitler originally wrote this book mostly for the followers of National Socialism, it grew in popularity. He accumulated a tax debt of 405,500 Reichsmark (very roughly in 2015 €1.4 million or US$ 1.5 million) from the sale of about 240,000 copies by the time he became chancellor in 1933 (at which time his debt was waived).
After Hitler rose to power, the book gained a large amount of popularity. (Two other books written by party members, Gottfried Feder's Breaking The Interest Slavery and Alfred Rosenberg's The Myth of the Twentieth Century, have since lapsed into comparative literary obscurity, and no translation of Feder's book from the original German is known.) The book was in high demand in libraries and often reviewed and quoted in other publications. Hitler had made about 1.2 million Reichsmarks from the income of his book in 1933, when the average annual income of a teacher was about 4,800 Mark. During Hitler's years in power, the book was given free to every newlywed couple and every soldier fighting at the front. By 1939 the book had sold 5.2 million copies in 11 languages. By the end of the war, about 10 million copies of the book had been sold or distributed in Germany.
After becoming chancellor of Germany in 1933, Hitler began to distance himself from the book and dismissed it as "fantasies behind bars" that were little more than a series of articles for the Völkischer Beobachter and later told Hans Frank that "If I had had any idea in 1924 that I would have become Reich chancellor, I never would have written the book."
There are currently six e-book versions of Mein Kampf available for sale. In 2014 two of these version reached the 12th and 15th spots on the iTunes Politics and Current Events section. The same year a digital version of the book reached number one on the Amazon Propaganda and Political Psychology chart.
Mein Kampf, in essence, lays out the ideological program Hitler established for the German revolution, by identifying the Jews and "Bolsheviks," as racially and ideologically inferior and threatening, and "Aryans" and National Socialists as racially superior and politically progressive. Hitler's revolutionary goals included expulsion of the Jews from Greater Germany and the unification of German peoples into one Greater Germany. Hitler desired to restore German lands to their greatest historical extent, real or imagined.
Due to its racist content and the historical effect of Nazism upon Europe during World War II and the Holocaust, it is considered a highly controversial book. Criticism has not come solely from opponents of Nazism. Italian Fascist dictator and Nazi ally Benito Mussolini was also critical of the book, saying that it was "a boring tome that I have never been able to read" and remarked that Hitler's beliefs, as expressed in the book, were "little more than commonplace clichés".
One direct opponent of National Socialism, Konrad Heiden, observed that the content of Mein Kampf is essentially a political argument with other members of the Nazi Party who had appeared to be Hitler's friends, but whom he was actually denouncing in the book's content – sometimes by not even including references to them.
In The Second World War, Winston Churchill wrote that he felt that after Hitler's ascension to power, no other book deserved more intensive scrutiny.
The American literary theorist and philosopher Kenneth Burke wrote a rhetorical analysis of the work, The Rhetoric of Hitler's "Battle", which revealed its underlying message of aggressive intent.
German publication history
While Hitler was in power (1933–1945), Mein Kampf came to be available in three common editions. The first, the Volksausgabe or People's Edition, featured the original cover on the dust jacket and was navy blue underneath with a gold swastika eagle embossed on the cover. The Hochzeitsausgabe, or Wedding Edition, in a slipcase with the seal of the province embossed in gold onto a parchment-like cover was given free to marrying couples. In 1940, the Tornister-Ausgabe was released. This edition was a compact, but unabridged, version in a red cover and was released by the post office, available to be sent to loved ones fighting at the front. These three editions combined both volumes into the same book.
A special edition was published in 1939 in honour of Hitler's 50th birthday. This edition was known as the Jubiläumsausgabe, or Anniversary Issue. It came in both dark blue and bright red boards with a gold sword on the cover. This work contained both volumes one and two.
It was considered a deluxe version, relative to the smaller and more common Volksausgabe.
The book could also be purchased as a two-volume set during Hitler's reign, and was available in soft cover and hardcover. The soft cover edition contained the original cover (as pictured at the top of this article). The hardcover edition had a leather spine with cloth-covered boards. The cover and spine contained an image of three brown oak leaves.
Reynal and Hitchcock translation
Stackpole translation and controversy
Cranston translation and controversy
7.6 Manheim translation
7.6.2 Official Nazi translation
Sales and royalties
Republication in Germany after 2015
After the party's poor showing in the 1928 elections, Hitler believed that the reason for his loss was the public's misunderstanding of his ideas. He then retired to Munich to dictate a sequel to Mein Kampf to expand on its ideas, with more focus on foreign policy.
Only two copies of the 200-page manuscript were originally made, and only one of these was ever made public. The document was neither edited nor published during the Nazi era and remains known as Zweites Buch, or "Second Book". To keep the document strictly secret, in 1935 Hitler ordered that it be placed in a safe in an air raid shelter. It remained there until being discovered by an American officer in 1945.
The authenticity of the document found in 1945 has been verified by Josef Berg (former employee of the Nazi publishing house Eher Verlag) and Telford Taylor (former Brigadier General U.S.A.R. and Chief Counsel at the Nuremberg war-crimes trials).
In 1958, the Zweites Buch was found in the archives of the United States by American historian Gerhard Weinberg. Unable to find an American publisher, Weinberg turned to his mentor – Hans Rothfels at the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich, and his associate Martin Broszat – who published Zweites Buch in 1961. A pirated edition was published in English in New York in 1962. The first authoritative English edition was not published until 2003 (Hitler's Second Book: The Unpublished Sequel to Mein Kampf, ISBN 1-929631-16-2).