Mein Kampf

(My struggle)
   Part autobiography, part political theory, Mein Kampf was chiefly Hitler's* endeavor to outline his aspirations, or Weltanschau-ung, for Germany. "I believe today," he wrote, "that I am acting in the sense of the Almighty Creator: by warding off the Jews,* I am fighting for the Lord's work." Edited and typed during Hitler's 1924 imprisonment by Rudolf Hess,* the first volume was published in April 1925 by Max Amann's* Eher Verlag. A second volume, appearing in December 1926, was followed by a cheap re-vised edition in 1929. Total sales rose to 50,000 in 1930, 90,000 in 1932, and over 1 million in 1933. Even before Hitler achieved power, the royalties from Mein Kampfhad brought him (and Amann) considerable wealth.
   Although it is bombastic and crude, Mein Kampfsets forth Hitler's clever propaganda techniques and provides entry into the belief system that remained valid until Hitler lay dead. Central is the superiority of an Aryan race—pivotal to all that is valuable in civilization. But racial purity is threatened, Hitler argued, by a Jewish conspiracy to despoil the Aryans through cross-breeding. The book portrays France as a stronghold of Judaism and World War I as a Jewish scheme to destroy Aryan power. Bolshevism, democracy, Freemasonry, and socialism are lumped together as Jewish tricks to gain world domination. In response, Mein Kampfcalls for the expulsion of Jews and a uniting of Germanic peoples into a single nation-state. Rather than looking abroad in the manner of prewar imperialists, Mein Kampfdemands the conquest of Slavic lands to the east—a Drang nach Osten—with vassaldom for the Untermenschen (lesser humans) of Poland,* the Ukraine, and Russia. But first France must be crushed.
   Few read Mein Kampf or took it seriously. Yet it provided a three-part blue-print for the Third Reich: unify the Greater German Volk; gain vast new Le-bensraum in the East; and eliminate the Jews. Although Hitler's regime functioned in a strangely erratic fashion, it was faithful to the Weltanschauung expounded in Mein Kampf. In the second volume (not to be confused with Hitlers Zweites Buch, published only in 1961), Hitler stated that he knew "ex-actly where I am going and nothing is going to prevent me getting there."
   REFERENCES:Bracher, German Dictatorship; Haffner, Meaning of Hitler;Jackel, Hit-ler's World View; Waite, Psychopathic God.

A Historical dictionary of Germany's Weimar Republic, 1918-1933. .

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