Mein Kampf | Wikipedia audio article

Mein Kampf (German: [maɪn ˈkampf]; My Struggle
or My Fight) is a 1925 autobiographical manifesto by Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler. The work describes the process by which Hitler
became antisemitic and 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 firstly by Emil Maurice,
then by Hitler’s deputy Rudolf Hess.Hitler began Mein Kampf 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.” After slow initial sales, the book was a bestseller
in Germany after Hitler’s rise to power in 1933.After Hitler’s death, copyright of Mein
Kampf passed to the state government of Bavaria, which refused to allow any copying or printing
of the book in Germany. In 2016, following the expiration of the copyright
held by the Bavarian state government, Mein Kampf was republished in Germany for the first
time since 1945, which prompted public debate and divided reactions from Jewish groups.==Title==
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”.==Contents==
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 Conclusion
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 antisemitic
press, he says, he dismissed it as unworthy of serious consideration. Later he accepted the same antisemitic views,
which became crucial to 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. In the book 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.===Antisemitism===
While historians dispute the exact date Hitler decided to exterminate the Jewish people,
few place the decision before the mid-1930s. First published in 1925, Mein Kampf shows
Hitler’s personal grievances and his ambitions for creating a New Order. The historian Ian Kershaw points out that
several passages in Mein Kampf are undeniably of a genocidal nature. Hitler wrote “the nationalization of our masses
will succeed only when, aside from all the positive struggle for the soul of our people,
their international poisoners are exterminated”, and he suggested that, “If at the beginning
of the war and during the war twelve or fifteen thousand of these Hebrew corrupters of the
nation had been subjected to poison gas, such as had to be endured in the field by hundreds
of thousands of our very best German workers of all classes and professions, then the sacrifice
of millions at the front would not have been in vain.”The racial laws to which Hitler referred
resonate directly with his ideas in Mein Kampf. In the first edition of Mein Kampf, Hitler
stated that the destruction of the weak and sick is far more humane than their protection. Apart from this allusion to humane treatment,
Hitler saw a purpose in destroying “the weak” in order to provide the proper space and purity
for the “strong”.===Lebensraum (“living space”)===
In the chapter “Eastern Orientation or Eastern Policy”, Hitler argued that the Germans needed
Lebensraum in the East, a “historic destiny” that would properly nurture the German people. Hitler believed that “the organization of
a Russian state formation was not the result of the political abilities of the Slavs in
Russia, but only a wonderful example of the state-forming efficacity of the German element
in an inferior race.”In Mein Kampf Hitler openly stated the future German expansion
in the East, foreshadowing Generalplan Ost: And so we National Socialists consciously
draw a line beneath the foreign policy tendency of our pre-War period. We take up where we broke off six hundred
years ago. We stop the endless German movement to the
south and west, and turn our gaze toward the land in the east. At long last we break off the colonial and
commercial policy of the pre-War period and shift to the soil policy of the future. If we speak of soil in Europe today, we can
primarily have in mind only Russia and her vassal border states.==Popularity==
Although Hitler originally wrote Mein Kampf mostly for the followers of National Socialism,
it grew in popularity after he rose to power. (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.) Hitler had made about 1.2 million Reichsmarks
from the income of the book by 1933 (equivalent to €4,714,299 in 2009), when the average
annual income of a teacher was about 4,800 Marks (equivalent to €18,857 in 2009). He accumulated a tax debt of 405,500 Reichsmark
(very roughly in 2015 1.1 million GBP, 1.4 million EUR, 1.5 million USD) from the sale
of about 240,000 copies before he became chancellor in 1933 (at which time his debt was waived).Hitler
began to distance himself from the book after becoming chancellor of Germany in 1933. He 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.” Nevertheless, Mein Kampf was a bestseller
in Germany during the 1930s. During Hitler’s years in power, the book was
in high demand in libraries and often reviewed and quoted in other publications. It was given free to every newlywed couple
and every soldier fighting at the front. By 1939 it had sold 5.2 million copies in
eleven languages. By the end of the war, about 10 million copies
of the book had been sold or distributed in Germany.==Contemporary observations==
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 remarking that Hitler’s beliefs, as expressed in the book, were “little
more than commonplace clichés”.The German journalist Konrad Heiden, an early critic
of the Nazi Party, 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.The American literary theorist and philosopher Kenneth Burke wrote a 1939 rhetorical
analysis of the work, The Rhetoric of Hitler’s “Battle”, which revealed an underlying message
of aggressive intent.The American journalist John Gunther said in 1940 that compared to
the autobiographies such as Leon Trotsky’s My Life or Henry Adams’s The Education of
Henry Adams, Mein Kampf was “vapid, vain, rhetorical, diffuse, prolix.” However, he added that “it is a powerful and
moving book, the product of great passionate feeling”. He suggested that the book exhausted curious
German readers, but its “ceaseless repetition of the argument, left impregnably in their
minds, fecund and germinating”.In March 1940, British writer George Orwell reviewed a then-recently
published uncensored translation of Mein Kampf for The New English Weekly. Orwell suggested that the force of Hitler’s
personality shone through the often “clumsy” writing, capturing the magnetic allure of
Hitler for many Germans. In essence, Orwell notes, Hitler offers only
visions of endless struggle and conflict in the creation of “a horrible brainless empire”
that “stretch[es] to Afghanistan or thereabouts”. He wrote, “Whereas Socialism, and even capitalism
in a more grudging way, have said to people ‘I offer you a good time,’ Hitler has said
to them, ‘I offer you struggle, danger, and death,’ and as a result a whole nation flings
itself at his feet.” Orwell’s review was written in the aftermath
of the 1939 Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, when Hitler made peace with USSR after more than
a decade of vitriolic rhetoric and threats between the two nations; with the pact in
place, Orwell believed, England was now facing a risk of Nazi attack and the UK must not
underestimate the appeal of Hitler’s ideas.In his 1943 book The Menace of the Herd, Austrian
scholar Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn described Hitler’s ideas in Mein Kampf and elsewhere
as “a veritable reductio ad absurdum of ‘progressive’ thought” and betraying “a curious lack of
original thought” that shows Hitler offered no innovative or original ideas but was merely
“a virtuoso of commonplaces which he may or may not repeat in the guise of a ‘new discovery.'” Hitler’s stated aim, Kuehnelt-Leddihn writes,
is to quash individualism in furtherance of political goals: When Hitler and Mussolini attack the “western
democracies” they insinuate that their “democracy” is not genuine. National Socialism envisages abolishing the
difference in wealth, education, intellect, taste, philosophy, and habits by a leveling
process which necessitates in turn a total control over the child and the adolescent. Every personal attitude will be branded—after
communist pattern—as “bourgeois,” and this in spite of the fact that the bourgeois is
the representative of the most herdist class in the world, and that National Socialism
is a basically bourgeois movement. Hitler in Mein Kampf repeatedly speaks of
the “masses” and the “herd” referring to the people. The German people should probably, in his
view, remain a mass of identical “individuals” in an enormous sand heap or ant heap, identical
even to the color of their shirts, the garment nearest to the body. In his The Second World War, published in
several volumes in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Winston Churchill wrote that he felt
that after Hitler’s ascension to power, no other book than Mein Kampf deserved more intensive
scrutiny.==Later analysis==
The critic George Steiner has suggested that Mein Kampf can be seen as one of several books
that resulted from the crisis of German culture following Germany’s defeat in World War I,
comparable in this respect to the philosopher Ernst Bloch’s The Spirit of Utopia (1918),
the historian Oswald Spengler’s The Decline of the West (1918), the theologian Franz Rosenzweig’s
The Star of Redemption (1921), and the theologian Karl Barth’s The Epistle to the Romans (1922).==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, or Knapsack
Edition, 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 rule, 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.==English translations====
Current availability==At the time of his suicide, Hitler’s official
place of residence was in Munich, which led to his entire estate, including all rights
to Mein Kampf, changing to the ownership of the state of Bavaria. The government of Bavaria, in agreement with
the federal government of Germany, refused to allow any copying or printing of the book
in Germany. It also opposed copying and printing in other
countries, but with less success. As per German copyright law, the entire text
entered the public domain on 1 January 2016, 70 years after the author’s death.Owning and
buying the book in Germany is not an offence. Trading in old copies is lawful as well, unless
it is done in such a fashion as to “promote hatred or war.” In particular, the unmodified edition is not
covered by §86 StGB that forbids dissemination of means of propaganda of unconstitutional
organisations, since it is a “pre-constitutional work” and as such cannot be opposed to the
free and democratic basic order, according to a 1979 decision of the Federal Court of
Justice of Germany. Most German libraries carry heavily commented
and excerpted versions of Mein Kampf. In 2008, Stephan Kramer, secretary-general
of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, not only recommended lifting the ban, but
volunteered the help of his organization in editing and annotating the text, saying that
it is time for the book to be made available to all online.A variety of restrictions or
special circumstances apply in other countries.===France===
In 1934, the French government unofficially sponsored the publication of an unauthorized
translation. It was meant as a warning and included a critical
introduction by Marshal Lyautey (“Every Frenchman must read this book”). It was published by far-right publisher Fernand
Sorlot in an agreement with the activists of LICRA who bought 5000 copies to be offered
to “influencial people”; however, most of them treated the book as a casual gift and
did not read it. The Nazi regime unsuccessfully tried to have
it forbidden. Hitler, as the author, and Eher-Verlag, his
German publisher, had to sue for copyright infringement in the Commercial Court of France. Hitler’s lawsuit succeeded in having all copies
seized, the print broken up, and having an injunction against booksellers offering any
copies. However, a large quantity of books had already
been shipped and stayed available undercover by Sorlot.In 1938, Hitler licensed for France
an authorised edition by Fayard, translated by François Dauture and Georges Blond, lacking
the threatening tone against France of the original. The French edition was 347 pages long, while
the original title was 687 pages, and it was titled Ma doctrine (“My doctrine”).After the
war, Fernand Sorlot re-edited, re-issued, and continue to sell the work, without permission
from the state of Bavaria on which the author’s rights had defaulted. In the 1970s, the rise of the extreme right
in France along with the growing of Holocaust denial works, placed the Mein Kampf under
judicial watch and in 1978, LICRA entered a complaint in the courts against the publisher
for inciting antisemitism. Sorlot received a “substantial fine” but the
court also granted him the right to continue publishing the work, provided certain warnings
and qualifiers accompany the text.On 1 January 2016, seventy years after the author’s death,
Mein Kampf entered the public domain in France.A new edition was published in 2017 by Fayard,
now part of the Groupe Hachette, with a critical introduction, just as the edition published
in 2018 in Germany by the Institut für Zeitgeschichte, the Institute of Contemporary History based
in Munich.===India===
Since its first publication in India in 1928, Mein Kampf has gone through hundreds of editions
and sold over 100,000 copies.===Netherlands===
In the Netherlands the sale of Mein Kampf had been forbidden since World War II. In September 2018, however, Dutch publisher
Prometheus officially released an academic edition of the 2016 German translation with
comprehensive introductions and annotations by Dutch historians. It marks the first time the book is widely
available to the general public in the Netherlands since World War II.===Russia===
In the Russian Federation, Mein Kampf has been published at least three times since
1992; the Russian text is also available on websites. In 2006 the Public Chamber of Russia proposed
banning the book. In 2009 St. Petersburg’s branch of the Russian
Ministry of Internal Affairs requested to remove an annotated and hyper-linked Russian
translation of the book from a historiography website. On 13 April 2010, it was announced that Mein
Kampf is outlawed on grounds of extremism promotion.===Sweden===
Mein Kampf has been reprinted several times since 1945; in 1970, 1992, 2002 and 2010. In 1992 the Government of Bavaria tried to
stop the publication of the book, and the case went to the Supreme Court of Sweden which
ruled in favour of the publisher, stating that the book is protected by copyright, but
that the copyright holder is unidentified (and not the State of Bavaria) and that the
original Swedish publisher from 1934 had gone out of business. It therefore refused the Government of Bavaria’s
claim. The only translation changes came in the 1970
edition, but they were only linguistic, based on a new Swedish standard.===Turkey===
Mein Kampf was widely available and growing in popularity in Turkey, even to the point
where it became a bestseller, selling up to 100,000 copies in just two months in 2005. Analysts and commentators believe the popularity
of the book to be related to a rise in nationalism and anti-U.S. sentiment. A columnist in Shalom stated this was a result
of “what is happening in the Middle East, the Israeli-Palestinian problem and the war
in Iraq.” Doğu Ergil, a political scientist at Ankara
University, said both far-right ultranationalists and extremist Islamists had found common ground
– “not on a common agenda for the future, but on their anxieties, fears and hate”.===United States===
In the United States, Mein Kampf can be found at many community libraries and can be bought,
sold and traded in bookshops. The U.S. government seized the copyright in
September 1942 during the Second World War under the Trading with the Enemy Act and in
1979, Houghton Mifflin, the U.S. publisher of the book, bought the rights from the government
pursuant to 28 C.F.R. 0.47. More than 15,000 copies are sold a year. In 2016, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt reported
that it was having difficulty finding a charity that would accept profits from the sales of
its version of Mein Kampf, which it had promised to donate.===Online availability===
In 1999, the Simon Wiesenthal Center documented that major Internet booksellers such as Amazon
and Barnes & Noble sell Mein Kampf to Germany. After a public outcry, both companies agreed
to stop those sales to addresses in Germany. The book is currently available through both
companies online. It is also available in various languages,
including German, at the Internet Archive. The Murphy translation of the book is freely
available on Project Gutenberg Australia. Since the January 2016 republication of the
book in Germany, the book can be ordered at Amazon’s German website.===2016 republication in Germany===
On 3 February 2010, the Institute of Contemporary History (IfZ) in Munich announced plans to
republish an annotated version of the text, for educational purposes in schools and universities,
in 2015. The book had last been published in Germany
in 1945. The IfZ argued that a republication was necessary
to get an authoritative annotated edition by the time the copyright ran out, which might
open the way for neo-Nazi groups to publish their own versions. The Bavarian Finance Ministry opposed the
plan, citing respect for victims of the Holocaust. It stated that permits for reprints would
not be issued, at home or abroad. This would also apply to a new annotated edition. There was disagreement about the issue of
whether the republished book might be banned as Nazi propaganda. The Bavarian government emphasized that even
after expiration of the copyright, “the dissemination of Nazi ideologies will remain prohibited
in Germany and is punishable under the penal code”. However, the Bavarian Science Minister Wolfgang
Heubisch supported a critical edition, stating in 2010 that, “Once Bavaria’s copyright expires,
there is the danger of charlatans and neo-Nazis appropriating this infamous book for themselves”.On
12 December 2013 the Bavarian government cancelled its financial support for an annotated edition. IfZ, which was preparing the translation,
announced that it intended to proceed with publication after the copyright expired. The IfZ scheduled an edition of Mein Kampf
for release in 2016.Richard Verber, vice-president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews,
stated in 2015 that the board trusted the academic and educational value of republishing. “We would, of course, be very wary of any
attempt to glorify Hitler or to belittle the Holocaust in any way,” Verber declared to
The Observer. “But this is not that. I do understand how some Jewish groups could
be upset and nervous, but it seems it is being done from a historical point of view and to
put it in context.”An annotated edition of Mein Kampf was published in Germany in
January 2016 and sold out within hours on Amazon’s German site. The book’s publication led to public debate
in Germany, and divided reactions from Jewish groups, with some supporting, and others opposing,
the decision to publish. German officials had previously said they
would limit public access to the text amid fears that its republication could stir neo-Nazi
sentiment. Some bookstores stated that they would not
stock the book. Dussmann, a Berlin bookstore, stated that
one copy was available on the shelves in the history section, but that it would not be
advertised and more copies would be available only on order. By January 2017, the German annotated edition
had sold over 85,000 copies.==Sequel==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, a former employee of the Nazi publishing house Eher
Verlag, and Telford Taylor, a former brigadier general of the United States Army Reserve
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).==See also==
Berlin Without Jews, a dystopian satirical novel about German antisemitism, published
in the same year as Mein Kampf Generalplan Ost, Hitler’s “new order of ethnographical
relations” Ich Kämpfe
Gustave Le Bon, a main influence of this book and crowd psychology
List of books banned by governments LTI – Lingua Tertii Imperii
Mein Kampf in Arabic The Myth of the Twentieth Century
Ukrainian military doctrine

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