Mein Kampf - The Official 1939 Edition (Third Reich from Original Sources) Info

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Great book
This Edition is abridged by ADL, all hate references and bad language is removed.

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Reviews for Mein Kampf - The Official 1939 Edition (Third Reich from Original Sources):

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Dec 14, 2014



I was somewhat disturbed to hear from Lilo that the negative review of Er ist wieder da which she had posted on Amazon had been removed without notice. As an experiment, I thought I would post a negative review of Mein Kampf, where I do the same thing and advise people not to read it. You can find the review here.

So far, three people have voted for it and one person has attacked me in a rather bizarre way. I'm curious to find out what will happen next. In particular, I want to see if Amazon

I was somewhat disturbed to hear from Lilo that the negative review of Er ist wieder da which she had posted on Amazon had been removed without notice. As an experiment, I thought I would post a negative review of Mein Kampf, where I do the same thing and advise people not to read it. You can find the review here.

So far, three people have voted for it and one person has attacked me in a rather bizarre way. I'm curious to find out what will happen next. In particular, I want to see if Amazon remove my review too. My guess is that this will only happen if the review gets a large number of votes - so if you're also curious, please go there and add your vote. I will post an update if and when there have been any significant developments.
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Well, here's an interesting development. The Amazon review, which is currently running at 20-3, has not been deleted... but one of the more deranged posts by "CitizenChampion", the guy who was attacking it, has been removed.

So far, then, Amazon have behaved quite correctly. Did anyone on this thread flag Citizen's post? I didn't.
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Only a few hours later, and with the score at 24-3, we have a new incident: this time, Amazon have deleted a sarcastic post criticizing "CitizenChampion" and implying... well, let's not get into that. But it went remarkably quickly. Whoever's in charge certainly seems to have their eye on this one.
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I knew "CitizenChampion" wouldn't give up that easily. Since his latest post will probably soon be deleted by the moderator, I'm pasting in a copy here. In all probability you are a Jew.It further seems that these hidden bastards might share a common trait that an enemy once is an enemy always. What you have committed has little or nothing to do with "Mein Kampf",though you truly fear them this is about an enbred contempt perhaps even the having of ill-will against my ability to participate. This forum like another forum here at Amazon is a wicked as it is corrupt.You are not honest Manny Rayner and neither are this hidden filth behind the scenes that I wpould rather grab you by the throat,You bastard menace.Keep at it, "Citizen"! I'm feeling prouder of my partially Jewish ethnicity every day. The score is now 31-3.
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I'm afraid that all of Citizen's posts have now disappeared from the Amazon review: some have been deleted by the moderator, and some by Citizen himself. He's probably making a smart move. I don't know where he's from, but in quite a lot of countries he might have been getting into illegal hatespeech territory.

Well, Citizen, if that was so then I'm flattered you were willing to risk a fine or maybe even some community service to attack my little review. [Update: in England, it seems that this would be entirely possible. See Paul's message #85 in the comment thread.] And I'm relieved that I had the presence of mind to save one of your comments for posterity. You have not written in vain.

The score is now 37-3, and the review has reached the first page. Thanks for all the support, guys!
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A few days later, and Citizen is back! I'm copying all his posts from now on. Why, oh why, didn't I do this right from the start? You can see that I'd never have made an investigative journalist. Anyway, here is his latest open letter to the world:Your a liar Manny Rayner, however like your source of information it remains an embedded feature of your claim. You remain a hidden wretched wickedness that is a plague upon a honest word. You indeed like your claim of half and half is like your word,it is stolen and now you are crying wolf. One further thing your inability to be honest is likened to this websites inability to be honest as to "Mein Kampf". I really do not care whatever cornball crap your hustling whoever the hell you are but one thing is for certain this no good website has deleted many upon many comments of mine that require an honest approach to who is Adolf Hitler.This embedded feature is so determined to deny any claim of another opinion that this embedded feature is as your half and half claim,that is your history as well as this claim has legs. What I said was in all probability you are a Jew this was after Amazon was having a heart attack.Amazon is not capable of being honest.It is truly regretful to have worked well on an opinion and then to see this disease spread. Do you know who Amazon is ?The score is now 45-4.
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Citizen's latest post has been deleted (it says by the author), but now a new voice has joined the conversation. "Loki" writes:The statement "Hitler is evil" is a subjective statement: I for one do not subscribe to the idea of absolute "Good" and absolute "Evil". So, I do not think it appropriate to stay away from reading any book because someone thought the author "evil". One should read and assess for oneself.

So I do not think it appropriate that people should recommend against reading a particular because they consider the author or subject "Evil". They should make the recommendation solely on the merits of the book, AFTER reading the book.

I hope Amazon would take note and will not allow such reviews to be posted.How will Amazon react? My prediction is that they'll just ignore it, but we will soon see.

The score is now 49-6.
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"Loki", who is a good deal more polite and coherent than Citizen, is still trying to persuade me that I am being unfair to Mein Kampf. He says that everyone has a right to be heard, including Hitler. Well, as I just replied, I couldn't disagree more. Hitler long ago forfeited his right to be heard. He has no rights at all.

We're now at 50-6.
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This thing is in danger of getting out of hand; I had no idea that so many Goodreaders felt it was immoral to discourage people from reading what is widely cited as the most hateful and dangerous literary work in human history. But, be that as it may, I would just like to remind everyone what the original point of the exercise was: I wanted to see if Amazon would delete a review whose sole purpose was to persuade shoppers not to buy Mein Kampf.

I have said harsh things about Amazon before, but this time I'm delighted to give them a clean bill of health. If anything, they have been overzealous in defending me. At least in this instance, they have made it very clear that they think it's more important to show respect towards Hitler's millions of victims than to try and increase their profits by removing or downplaying negative reviews of his dreadful, utterly evil book.

I misjudged you, Amazon. Apologies, and Merry Christmas!
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An interesting article in today's Independent about the new edition of Mein Kampf that is about to appear. As noted, there are quite a few well-informed people who disapprove. I was particularly struck by this passage:Charlotte Knobloch, head of the Jewish community in Munich, said she had not vigorously opposed it when the project first surfaced. But her position, she said, hardened after hearing from outraged Holocaust survivors.

“This book is most evil; it is the worst anti-Semitic pamphlet and a guidebook for the Holocaust,” she said. “It is a Pandora’s box that, once opened again, cannot be closed.”_______________________

Visiting Pioneer Books this week, I noticed a 1936 English edition of Mein Kampf on the shelf. The blurb is so fascinating that I have to copy it out here: The Paternoster Library

This new and attractively produced series is specifically designed to appeal to the discriminating general reader who wishes to secure for a moderate outlay an up-to-date library which will provide him with a steady supply of interesting, informative and entertaining books that have already proved their worth in high-priced editions. All the titles in this series will be produced in a uniform and attractive format that will prove an ornament to any library shelf.

In choosing titles for this library the publishers wish to cater for the most varied taste, but in doing so they intend to ensure that only books of real merit are selected, and it is hoped that any books so chosen will come to be regarded as ones that are automatically worthy of a permanent place on any publisher's shelves.

My Struggle

It would not be exaggerating to say that no more important autobiography than this has been published since the War, and certainly no biography has been issued for decades over which controversy has raged so bitterly. Whatever one's political views may be, it is a book everyone should read, for it reveals the forces and circumstances which went to make a remarkable character, whose intense belief in his ideals won over a mighty nation, and changed the course of history.

The News Chronicle called it "an astonishing book"; the Evening News said "It commands attention." Morning Post: "We recommend a close study of this book." The Evening Standard said: "The whole of the political Hitler is in these brutally candid pages." The Yorkshire Post said: "The book should be extremely valuable in enabling English readers to obtain a general conception of Hitler's theories." Major F. Yeats-Brown wrote: "I hope My Struggle will be published in a cheap edition."_______________________



I thought for a few seconds that a miracle had happened - but alas, it was only a software glitch.
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Someone calling themselves "Griselda Scott" has left a comment on my Amazon review:Censorsship. JIDF has been here. The nose knows.I had never heard of the Jewish Internet Defense Force until I looked them up just now. But if they want to pay me a small fee for every review I post attacking racist lunatics, I'm certainly not going to object. JIDF, you know where to find me.
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Another interesting comment on my Amazon review, this time from "Jorjan Felder Neal":Hahaha Your relatives are living it up in Palestine! There was no Holicost or genoside only deportation! According to official Red Cross records the numbers of people, all people, who died in German concentration, actually, work or holding camps, was some 270,000. That's throughout the entire war, including those who died of communicable diseases such as typhus (rampant towards the end of the war) and cholera. since there weren't even six million Jews in all of Europe at that time, then, how did the extras die? Did they import them from Khazaria? t Khazars who proved to be the true barbarians and who were responsible for the mass slaughter of the innocent, including mass killings in Germany, Russia, Poland, and more.

The Zionist criminals used the war as the leveraging point to drive their plot home, which was the near complete imperialistic conquest of Palestine. The social strife they created led to the basis for mass emigration of European Jewry from their homes to Middle Eastern land. Without the war, an occupied Palestine would have never occurred. It was also the means by which well-placed Zionists and also low-level operatives could enrich themselves through theft, not only of the land of the Palestinian people but also through the usurpation of the assets and wealth of European nations.
Do your research before running your uneducated mouth! Your family is a bunch of liars !A little tip for Mr Neal: if you don't want your antisemitic propaganda to sound like the ravings of an illiterate moron, it's important to get the spelling and grammar right. I don't mean it as criticism; I'm just trying to help.
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I hate to say it, but just when Amazon were doing so well here they seem to have messed up. I thought I'd take a look at their page for Mein Kampf, which I hadn't visited for at least a year. I found it had changed in an important way. Previously, the page had a list of all reviews, and it was easy to find mine. Now, there's only a link to a list of verified purchase reviews. So although my review is still there, no one will see it, since I didn't buy a copy of Mein Kampf. But Amazon don't want me to feel I've missed out. There's a tempting little notice:



Right, let's get this straight. Amazon are using the good old stick and carrot approach to get me to buy a copy of what is probably the most evil and dangerous book in human history. The stick is that they're hiding my review until I can prove I've bought a copy from them. The carrot is that they'll offer it to me for free, as long as I sign up for an Amazon Rewards Visa Card.

As Reese Witherspoon says in Just Like Heaven, excuse me, I just threw up in my mouth. ...more
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Jul 30, 2007

Let's distill my previous review.

This book is badly written, presents scientifically incorrect, racist ideas as fact, and takes a comically long time to tell a boring story about formulating an idiotic military plan that didn't work.

People who should read this book don't need to be told they should read it. They also have listened to Wagner and read Nietzsche, and find their respective worldviews problematic.

If your explanation for reading this book does not involve understanding mistakes from Let's distill my previous review.

This book is badly written, presents scientifically incorrect, racist ideas as fact, and takes a comically long time to tell a boring story about formulating an idiotic military plan that didn't work.

People who should read this book don't need to be told they should read it. They also have listened to Wagner and read Nietzsche, and find their respective worldviews problematic.

If your explanation for reading this book does not involve understanding mistakes from the past and/or exploring why people find nationalism engaging you shouldn't read it. ...more
3

Feb 03, 2013

Mein Kampf = My Struggle, Adolf Hitler
Mein Kampf (My Struggle) is a 1925 autobiographical book 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 by Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز چهارم ماه مارس سال 1966 میلادی
عنوان: نبرد من؛ نویسنده: آدولف هیتلر؛ مترجم: فرشاد؛ تهران، کانون Mein Kampf = My Struggle, Adolf Hitler
Mein Kampf (My Struggle) is a 1925 autobiographical book 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 by Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز چهارم ماه مارس سال 1966 میلادی
عنوان: نبرد من؛ نویسنده: آدولف هیتلر؛ مترجم: فرشاد؛ تهران، کانون معرفت، چاپ سوم، 1341، در 176 ص؛ موضوع: نازیسم - زندگی و اندیشه های رهبر افسانه ای رایش سوم - سده 20 م
عنوان: نبرد من؛ نویسنده: آدولف هیتلر؛ مترجم: عنایت الله شکیباپور؛ تهران (شهریار)، خرد، 1351، در 531 ص؛ چاپ سوم، دنیای کتاب، 1371؛ در دو جلد و 508 ص؛ چاپ بعدی: دنیای کتاب، علم، 1373؛ دو جلد در یک مجلد؛ چاپ ششم 1375؛ هفتم 1376؛ نهم 1382؛ شابک: 9645870844؛ یازدهم 1384؛ پانزدهم 1386؛ هفدهم 1387؛ هجدهم 1388؛ نوزدهم 1388؛ چاپ بیست و دوم 1392؛ شابک: 9789645870841؛
عنوان: نبرد من؛ نویسنده: آدولف هیتلر؛ مترجم: عنایت الله بخشی؛ تهران، دنیای کتاب، 1369، در 532 ص؛
عنوان: نبرد من؛ نویسنده: آدولف هیتلر؛ مترجم: عباس کرمی فر؛ تهران، ارغوان، 1389، در 744 ص؛ شابک: 9786005912036؛
عنوان: نبرد من؛ نویسنده: آدولف هیتلر؛ مترجم: مهدی افشار؛ تهران، پارسه، 1390، در 589 ص؛ شابک: 9786002530035؛ چاپ دوم 1392؛
عنوان: نبرد من؛ نویسنده: آدولف هیتلر؛ مترجم: شهرزاد حکیم مختار؛ مهرداد مهاجر؛ تهران، معیار اندیشه، 1390، در 604 ص؛ شابک: 9786005462166؛ چاپ چهارم 1392؛ چاپ پنجم 1393؛ در 605 ص؛
عنوان: نبرد من؛ نویسنده: آدولف هیتلر؛ مترجم: حسین سماواتیان؛ تهران، لیدا، 1391، در 671 ص؛ شابک: 9786006538433؛
عنوان: نبرد من؛ نویسنده: آدولف هیتلر؛ مترجم: فرشته اکبرپور؛ تهران، نگاه، 1392، در 663 ص؛ شابک: 9789643518073؛
عنوان: نبرد من؛ نویسنده: آدولف هیتلر؛ مترجم: مهرداد انتظاری؛ تهران، آراسب، 1396، در 450 ص؛ شابک: 9786008696193
عنوان: نبرد من؛ نویسنده: آدولف هیتلر؛ مترجم: کیمیا مرادقلی؛ تهران، نکوراد، 1396، در 456 ص؛ شابک: 9786006443225؛
نبرد من (به آلمانی: ماین کامف) کتابی که توسط «آدولف هیتلر» نوشته شده است، و بیانگر اندیشه‌ های سیاسی «هیتلر» و باورهای «ناسیونال سوسیالیسم» می‌باشد. «هیتلر» در سال 1924 میلادی، هنگامیکه در قلعه «لندربرگ» زندانی بود، بخش نخست کتاب را، با دیکته کردن جملات، به منشی خود «رودلف هس»، به وجود آورد. بخش دوم، در پایان همان سال، پس از آزادی زودهنگام او از زندان، نوشته شد. پس از به قدرت رسیدن حزب «ناسیونال سوسیالیسم» در «آلمان»، و تشکیل «رایش سوم»، این متن به کتاب مقدس حکومت نازی تبدیل شد. ا. شربیانی ...more
1

Feb 16, 2008

Hitler... booooooooooooooo!

Call me a crazy talking liberal if you want, but I am against burning human beings in big ovens. I don't care how trendy and cool it was considered back in the day, that's just the way I was raised.

I read this book on the recommendation of a friend. Or at least I thought he was my friend. It turned out he was actually just a cashier at Borders. But he looked an awful lot like this guy I used to be friends with when I worked at Gamestop. I could have sworn it was him. Hitler... booooooooooooooo!

Call me a crazy talking liberal if you want, but I am against burning human beings in big ovens. I don't care how trendy and cool it was considered back in the day, that's just the way I was raised.

I read this book on the recommendation of a friend. Or at least I thought he was my friend. It turned out he was actually just a cashier at Borders. But he looked an awful lot like this guy I used to be friends with when I worked at Gamestop. I could have sworn it was him. The only real difference was that he worked at Borders and not Gamestop. Oh and he apparently enjoys Nazi literature. And I'm pretty sure the guy I worked with at Gamestop was black.

But in any case I suppose I should blame myself. Perhaps the next time a skinny bald white cashier recommends a book written by Adolf Hitler I should get a second opinion. Especially if he's not the tall black guy with dreads I used to work with.

So in summary...

1) Hiter bad

2) Gamestop = Cherished memories from my youth

3) Books not returnable at Borders after 15 days.


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5

Feb 29, 2008

amazing!!!!!!!! the most spectacular peice of literature of the 20th century!!! I was changed forever.
1

Sep 04, 2010

While I was teaching on my placement at the start of the year my supervising teacher had an incentive program going on with some of the students in the VCE history class we were taking. He told them he would pay $50 to any student who finished reading Mein Kampf by the end of the year. He told me he had made this offer every year and had never been required to pay up. He believed this was because the book was so poorly written and so turgid that even the most money hungry 16 year old would While I was teaching on my placement at the start of the year my supervising teacher had an incentive program going on with some of the students in the VCE history class we were taking. He told them he would pay $50 to any student who finished reading Mein Kampf by the end of the year. He told me he had made this offer every year and had never been required to pay up. He believed this was because the book was so poorly written and so turgid that even the most money hungry 16 year old would figure there were easier ways to make some cash.

That was the head-space I approached this book in. I was expecting it to be almost painfully badly written and pretty much the awful rants of a nearly insane fool. I need to assure you, that is not the book I found. This book is actually frighteningly lucid and remarkably well written. It is a much more dangerous book than, say, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. That book is so embarrassingly badly written, so pathetically obviously a forgery that anyone with half a brain could do little else than laugh at it with derision. I was actually a bit surprised when Hitler referred to the Protocols in this – as I thought even he would have had more shame. Nevertheless, the rest of his arguments against the Jews are much more carefully constructed and build in a way that has become a virtual template for any conspiracy theory.

And what a conspiracy theory this is! Hitler starts by saying he never really had anything against the Jews, thought that they were just another religion and could hardly be bothered worrying about them. In fact, he goes as far to say that if he had heard people speaking against them he would probably have stopped them and regarded these people as reactionary fools. At least, until his eyes were opened to the Jews infinite deceit after a series of interactions with them and Social Democrats following the death of his parents.

The Jews are responsible for EVERYTHING that is wrong with the world – from Finance capitalism to the stock market to trade unions to communism and social democracy to modern art and theatre and just about anything else you can think of. This is the conspiracy theory to end all conspiracy theories. He keeps telling the reader just how lacking in creativity the Jews are – but if they are able to pull off half of the stuff he blames them for they must be nearly godlike in their powers.

There were only one or two sections in the book when these rants became tiresome – he clearly understood when to push his point and when to hold back. He sounds much more reasonable than I would have ever dreamt.

The things that are most interesting about this book, to me anyway, were the glimpses into his life given early. The stuff with the mice he watched playing on the floor is the last thing I thought I would find in this book. The stuff about his father is gobsmackingly interesting. As he says, he respected his father, but loved his mother. In fact, he makes it clear that he definitely did not want to become anything at all like his father. Ironically, for someone who did not want to be a Civil Servant, I’m not sure that becoming Dictator of Germany was necessarily the most obvious way of avoiding that fate.

What he has to say about propaganda – essentially, people are stupid and so need to be told in the simplest terms imaginable what they need to believe and that all subtlety is wasted on them, made me wonder how people ever followed him (given he is saying he is more than happy to lie to his followers). This ought to be much more chilling for us today (flicked on the television and watched any ads lately?) than it tends to be.

I was also surprised by his frequent references to German young men doing things to ‘harden their bodies’, there is a homoerotic element to the text (delicately stated, of course) that I found completely unexpected. This view is increased by this dismissal of female sexuality as entirely submissive.

Sex plays a large role in his argument against the Jews. Jews marry off their daughters to Aryans (as they know that the best way to overcome a nation is to attack its blood) and their sons lie in wait to seduce Aryan women. By diluting Aryan blood and keeping the purity of their own blood (he never explains how both of these are possible at the same time except for vague references to the purity of the male blood line of Jews - the opposite of the case, in fact) they hope to one day take over the world. The argument sounds much more crazy in my summary than it does in his endlessly longer version – I didn’t say his ideas made sense, but he has presented them in the best possible light for the nonsense he has to deliver. I can see how easy it would be for someone suffering from the defeat of Germany to want to believe the reason for their defeat and hardships was a Jewish conspiracy.

I didn’t finish this. I got to the end of the first volume and decided I had heard enough. I was surprised by how similar his arguments are to conservative arguments today about keeping refugees out or for the ‘increase’ in social violence or crime or whatever else. If you wanted a conspiracy theory, perhaps a good one would be that conservatives tend to say Hitler is impossible to read so that people will not see the similarities of his views with their arguments. But to be honest, I’m over conspiracy theories. This one is so extreme it is little wonder it took the entire efforts of the state to continue it. Even then, it is doubtful Germans actually believed it – the big lie was just enough to allow one of the greatest crimes in history to be committed, but not enough to truly justify it even to those following through with the vision.

There are chilling moments here – particularly given what happened next and not just to the Jews but also to the Slavs. His discussion of Russia is particularly chilling.

But then there are moments of remarkable insight. He talks of people who want to lead the movement who have been active for 40 years and yet have not achieved their aims or stopped their opponents from achieving their aims. He points out that this is a clear sign of how pathetic their aims must be. This is a very interesting argument and one it would be difficult to argue against. There are many long standing Marxists and Nazis who would do well to consider the implications of what he is saying here.

All the same, this book is disturbing given what we know about what came next. And it is impossible now to not read between the lines and hear the awful silence of the death camps echoing throughout this book. The point is, however, that many of his arguments are little different from what is dished up today. I would have preferred this to be much more extreme than it ended up being. I would have felt safer that way. Our remarkable ability to create scapegoats has not deserted us with the years or with the knowledge of the consequences this madness had in Europe. I am glad I read this – but one volume was more than enough.
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Dec 29, 2010

I read this in 1979 as part of my first degree (in history) whilst doing a course on Modern German History. It doesn’t read easily; Hitler wasn’t a natural author! The most interesting thing is that this was written without hindsight or from a position of power, or at the time any immediate likelihood of power.
The ideas are not new; they are recycled and an understanding of fin de siècle Vienna and the maelstrom of ideas in the late nineteenth century which influenced Hitler is vital. The mix I read this in 1979 as part of my first degree (in history) whilst doing a course on Modern German History. It doesn’t read easily; Hitler wasn’t a natural author! The most interesting thing is that this was written without hindsight or from a position of power, or at the time any immediate likelihood of power.
The ideas are not new; they are recycled and an understanding of fin de siècle Vienna and the maelstrom of ideas in the late nineteenth century which influenced Hitler is vital. The mix of ideas following Darwin, combined with Nietzsche (superman), the anti-Semitism and eugenics; not to mention all the madcap scientific ideas around and the growth of psychoanalysis. We sometimes forget that eugenics was very popular and respectable. The idea that certain classes of people should not be allowed to breed was very current and popular and took people in many different directions; some of which are still around today (“designer babies”). The list of those advocating some form of eugenics is impressive; H G Wells, Kellogg, Keynes, Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt, Havelock Ellis, Pauling, Marie Stopes to name a few. The list in opposition is much shorter.
Hitler was influenced these ideas, especially the virulent anti-Semitism. All these were filtered through his experiences in the First World War and Germany’s humiliation by the Treaty of Versailles. The Russian Revolution and the rise of Bolshevism were also significant, as was the decadence of the Weimar Republic and the rampant inflation.
Following his imprisonment after the failed putsch of 1923 Hitler dictated the bulk to Hess and it was published in 1925/6. Hitler expounds his Jewish conspiracy theories and adapts the racial theories of Haeckel. The rise of Marxist theory he considered, was part of the broader Jewish conspiracy.
Hitler adapted all of this mix into a world view, adding the concept of Lebensraum. This relates to the need for expansion to give the German nation room and space. It originates from the English and French drive for colonies and the westward expansion in America; it was just applied to Europe by the Nazis.
It is an honest political manifesto and the parts on propaganda are fascinating, especially the use of colour, the borrowing of techniques from opponents’ and the best way to run a mass movement.
Everything is there that leads to the gas chamber and genocide. But many of Hitler’s ideas were common currency and not out of place at the time; he just followed them to their logical conclusion and most pertinently, he achieved power. He didn’t do it on his own; he had loyal followers and a party machine and he was voted into power, despite his opposition to parliamentary democracy.
It is easy to laugh at extremists, people certainly laughed at Hitler, but they have to be taken seriously, especially if they capture the mood of the time. Mein Kampf, when read with our hindsight, is horrific, and the author is vile. However he is the product of people and times slightly less extreme. Free debate and analysis of ideas and their meaning will usually show up the extremes. Censorship in any form is dangerous; the first thing Hitler did with power was to begin to move against people and ideas he considered a threat to his ideology. A lesson we need to keep relearning.
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0

Aug 22, 2010

Of course I didn't expect Mein Kampf to be a great book, even within the admittedly narrow antisemitic messianic homoerotic prison genre, but I did expect a little more showmanship. If you've seen Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will, then you know Adolf* could really work himself into an artful spittle-flying lather. My German is middling, but I've heard he was all charismatic and persuasive or whatever. Like, if you were just planning to go out for a stroll and pick up some schnitzel, you'd Of course I didn't expect Mein Kampf to be a great book, even within the admittedly narrow antisemitic messianic homoerotic prison genre, but I did expect a little more showmanship. If you've seen Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will, then you know Adolf* could really work himself into an artful spittle-flying lather. My German is middling, but I've heard he was all charismatic and persuasive or whatever. Like, if you were just planning to go out for a stroll and pick up some schnitzel, you'd happen to overhear him on a radio broadcast and all of a sudden you'd be smashing windows, incarcerating Jews, and annexing strategic swaths of Lebensraum before you even knew what you were doing. He was that powerful.

Yeah, we all understand that Hitler didn't have the best taste. He was into retro-Greek kitsch and probably those paintings of clowns and kittens and whaling ships. All the more reason to expect a semi-entertaining wallow in the muck and mire. I hate to make such an outlandish comparison (not really), but if Zsa Zsa Gabor wrote a 600+ autobiography detailing her grudges and her plans for rescuing America from its position of weakness and social decadence, we'd really have a right to expect a side-splitting compendium of both balls-to-the-wall absurdity and showbiz razzle-dazzle. Why can't we expect the same from Adolf Hitler? We expect idiots to entertain us with their idiocy; we don't expect them to be dull.

I'll bet Mel Gibson's ghost writer would shit out a much better book. With more anecdotes about Jodie Foster than your standard-issue xenophobic tract.

* Holy dumbass! I just realized I've been misspelling Hitler's first name my whole life as 'Adolph.' Where did I get that from? Probably the Jews... ...more
1

Aug 08, 2014


Mein Kampf or My Struggle:

Five Hundred and Sixty Pages of Struggle against Lies, Stupidity, Irrationality and Sheer Prolixity

Understanding Hitler’s political methods, rhetorical techniques and organizational skills is often cited as the best reason to read this book in the modern age, since many dictatorsstill use it as a handbook. Understanding their guidebook might be the best way to beat them at their own game. Many readers today avoid the book to avoid the taint of being seen reading it and
Mein Kampf or My Struggle:

Five Hundred and Sixty Pages of Struggle against Lies, Stupidity, Irrationality and Sheer Prolixity

Understanding Hitler’s political methods, rhetorical techniques and organizational skills is often cited as the best reason to read this book in the modern age, since many dictators still use it as a handbook. Understanding their guidebook might be the best way to beat them at their own game. Many readers today avoid the book to avoid the taint of being seen reading it and also out of fear of perhaps falling under its influence. That is considered to be playing into the hands of the ones who are willing to use he powerful methods present therein.

If the book was indeed a powerfully reasoned piece of work this would have held true. Instead it turned out to be a pathetic work, which only showcases the workings of a weak mind that constructed all its arguments from pre-conceived notions and never examined the basis of its arguments. It is clear that Hitler never bothered to understand the core ideas behind evolution, species selection, etc. Darwin had been pretty clear about all this, writing half a century or more before Hitler came up with his tripe. Instead he just assumes that a race came perfect unto this world and the world is beholden to “preserve” it… I mean, that is not evolution, that is just a naturalistic version of creationism and a variation of the “chosen people’ concept - he cannot even even be given points for being imaginative!

So instead of being outraged by the dangerous and enticing nature of a charismatic leader’s arguments, I found myself just plain disappointed by their weak and leaky nature. And it s not because of hasty constructions. Hitler takes all the time n the world and spends most of his book rehashing the same ideas in the same ways again and again. It is an insufferable drag.

And even when he departs from his obsession with race purity and talks of geopolitics and grand strategy, he again jumps to conclusions about Britain, France and Russia that clearly proved to be wrong within his lifetime. Most of his ideas had to be abandoned in the course of the war. I am sure he came up with great explanations whenever this happened. That is the thing with this kind of 'method'. There is just no being wrong in it.

The real question then is not whether we would buy his arguments but why anyone did. It is not about reading Hitler to understand how modern Dictators might use the same tactics, but understanding the conditions that allow these pretty rudimentary tactics to succeed and to avoid those conditions. The answers are in the society itself and not in Hitler’s work. The same applies for modern dictators’ who use his book as a guide - the answer is in a society that allows such extreme paranoid ideas to be propagated. It requires a grave threat and an almost pathological need to surrender once reason to a raving lunatic, who is willing to be a Führer. The best way yo have a world which rejects its Hitlers is to have a world that is not scared enough to accept without question essentially baseless fascist arguments. Hitler provides a good litmus test - wherever we see such ideas are getting currency, it might be time to examine what is causing the society to suspend common sense. Unfortunately, we might not have to look far to see test cases.

++++

I am not attempting a dissection of Hitler’s many pet theories (hobby horses?) here. I just can’t spare the time and I have wasted enough on reading this already.

Many unsupported rants pepper the book, repeated ad nauseam. A sample:

Austria: Everything about it is bad, except the Germans. Should be brought into the fold, but carefully.

Germany/Germans: The perfect race, the one to be preserved. So perfect that they are under threat from the worst/weakest race (I mean, how does THAT work?). Has to be expanded. World, including Britain, should make sure Germany expands if they don’t want this magnificent race to disappear from the face of the earth, leaving it poorer forever more. Germany has been greatly discriminated against after the First World War (okay, have to concede this, but it doesn't take a genius to figure that. Probably just echoing Keynes in any case). German people have suffered enough. It is time for a Great Leader to arise again. No prizes for guessing who that is!

Jews: Always vaguely and conveniently defined. But incontrovertibly the scum of humanity. To be eliminated. However “jews” are clearly shown to be a broader term, to include all traitors against the German people. Thus the word comes across mostly as a class badge in hitler’s writings.

Democracy: How can the masses ever rule? Democracy is only an excuse for rulers to pass on responsibility and avoid taking tough decisions. What a country under there needs is a strong leader who canned do what needs to be done. To be avoided at all costs.

The Masses: The mindless lot. Manipulated and brain washed by the Jews. They have to be emancipated by effective and complete control, by a leader. They have to be reeducated and freed of the influence of the Jews - by “propaganda”.

Trade & Business: The purview of the Jews. Only the weak and the leach-like attempt these activities. The German people to abjure them and take to manly activities that does not suck the life blood of the country and the race.

The Market: Sheer anarchy! Not to be allowed. State has to control production to avoid wastage.

Monarchy: Well, not in name, but we need a leader who can recreate the grand Reich of old. Who cares if it looks exactly like a kingship?

Marxism: The scourge of this earth! The tool of the Jews! Initiated by a Jew, what more proof do you need? Exists only to corrupt the masses. Has to be used only to reach the masses. Should be superseded forthwith after that.

The Press: Has to be controlled so that only the state views are set forth. Otherwise the Jews and the Marxists will take it over and corrupt the public even more.

The Races: Have to be preserved and kept apart to prevent dilution, especially the Germanic race of the Aryans. Don’t question my assumptions here!

My Way or The Highway! Got it? ...more
2

Nov 10, 2009

Yes, I have read it, hell I still own a copy. I make no excuses, and will not issue apologies. I am not a nazi sympathizer, anti-semitic, or racist, fascist, or any other variety of colorful names that I have been called for having this on my shelf. I confess that I was curious about the method to the madness and how such whole sale slaughter of human life could be rationalized. Get past impressions that are forced down your throat in history class and read it for what it is, a historical text Yes, I have read it, hell I still own a copy. I make no excuses, and will not issue apologies. I am not a nazi sympathizer, anti-semitic, or racist, fascist, or any other variety of colorful names that I have been called for having this on my shelf. I confess that I was curious about the method to the madness and how such whole sale slaughter of human life could be rationalized. Get past impressions that are forced down your throat in history class and read it for what it is, a historical text that, like it or not, had a tremendous impact on the world as we know it today. It is a difficult read and, to be frank, a large percent of the population will not have the fortitude to pick it up off the shelf in a bookstore or be able get past the ideas presented and discard it outright. One does not have to agree with the author in order to examine the text as a political and social commentary of the time. The important thing, as in so many hot issues, is to keep everything in perspective and make up your own mind. ...more
1

Jul 26, 2011

I was standing at the check out desk at Tolman Hall’s library at U.C. Berkeley back in the 1970s. I have no idea what I was checking out at the time. Maybe it was the time that I had spent at their library reading the Salem Witch Trials, the court documents. But as I was standing at the counter, I noticed a speech written on the wall behind the desk. I stood there reading it, and while I was reading it I realized that it was a humanitarian speech, and I thought, “That is the most beautiful I was standing at the check out desk at Tolman Hall’s library at U.C. Berkeley back in the 1970s. I have no idea what I was checking out at the time. Maybe it was the time that I had spent at their library reading the Salem Witch Trials, the court documents. But as I was standing at the counter, I noticed a speech written on the wall behind the desk. I stood there reading it, and while I was reading it I realized that it was a humanitarian speech, and I thought, “That is the most beautiful speech that I have ever read. Who wrote it?” I continued reading, and then it was signed, “Adolph Hitler. Imagine my shock. I have not been able to find that speech, and it is no longer on their wall behind that check out desk.

I had known about Hitler; I had read Anne Frank’s Diary, but I hadn’t read much else at the time. Just that you don’t go through life without knowing what happened to the Jews during WWII. I have read a lot of books about the holocaust since then.

Well, back in 2011, when I was helping our library during their book sale, the one where I frequent now, I noticed some books on Hitler and bought one. That led me to wondering about the book Mein Kampf, so I ordered it used online. After reading maybe half of it, I threw it in the garbage where it belonged.


Mein Kampf was a constant rant on Jews. It repeated the same issues over and over again. I saw how people could actually believe what he was saying if they were not educated. It was an old story, one that was heard in Germany often, which people believed, which let to them accepting Hitler’s own rants. Then I read some of Hitler’s speeches, still trying to find the one that I had read at the library. I never found it.

So, Hitler’s book is finally being published again, but this time with information to inform people so that they will know that Hitler spoke lies. Still, I think if a person in inclined to be racist, to hate, they will not pay any attention to these comments.

For hate is blinding. If you have grown up with parents who hate, who are bigots or racists, you will grow up with these views as well. Some people get over these views, especially if they get an education, and then there are those who see through it from a young age. We are told to love all people by the various religions, but I have seen so much hatred i the Christian religions, so much crime, that my eyes have been opened. I just want to get away from them and stay away. I learned that you can’t easily change people’s minds. I have tried; I now just tell them what I think and walk away.

I will not compare Hitler with anyone in political power today and hope to not get any comments on this book in this regards, because if I do, those comments will be deleted. Remember, what you write on the internet you are writing on the sky. I will also delete any comments made by racists. I happen to believe that free speech does not include hate speech, and I think we should incorporate a law against hate speech here in America. ...more
1

Jul 26, 2012

The author of this book is certainly one of the five or ten biggest nutjobs in the history of the world. Complete raving lunatic. No one should ever listen to a thing he says. If you agree with him, you're some kind of Nazi scumbag.
1

Sep 25, 2007

hitler should have changed his last name to "hit", because that's what this book is! the main character, who looks like sarah jessica parker, is in her mid-30's and looking for love in all the wrong places. when she gets transported back in time to repressive regime of hitler, the language barrier and her liberal ideals won't stop her from finding true love.

a lil' bit of trivia: the audio book was narrated by a young jody foster.
1

Dec 05, 2016

I don’t now what compelled me to pick up this book but I am often intrigued with cults and other disgusting behavior. I wish I wouldn’t have because it was poorly written and for the most part incoherent, but I did enjoy some of the explanations of propaganda.
5

Jun 14, 2007

One of my top 2 favorite pieces of autobiographical political propaganda... brilliantly written if obviously logically flawed... a beautiful look into the crafting of a thoroughly well rounded political theory... about as much to be lieved as any other... not for the dogmatic among us
1

Oct 27, 2014

I found the narrator, a racist german war veteran imprisoned for an attempted coup, very unrelateable. He was just not very sympathetic or likeable. Also the book is written in german, which is not very relateable to me, someone who doesnt speak german.
1

Jun 05, 2007

Glancing at this book, no one has given it even one star.

I find this kind of hard to believe, because the book is amazing. Amazing that one person could have not only thought these things but had the audacity to write them down for posterity.

I read a good chunk of this in it's original German form. It was assigned to us in high school as a "get as far as you can stomach" sort of read. I admittedly skimmed most of it, and cringed at the bits I did read.

But as I had an idea for an altered book Glancing at this book, no one has given it even one star.

I find this kind of hard to believe, because the book is amazing. Amazing that one person could have not only thought these things but had the audacity to write them down for posterity.

I read a good chunk of this in it's original German form. It was assigned to us in high school as a "get as far as you can stomach" sort of read. I admittedly skimmed most of it, and cringed at the bits I did read.

But as I had an idea for an altered book project, I decided to suck it up and read it.

Hitler certainly was not a big fan of personal responsibility, let's put it that way. His parents were at fault when he was unhappy as a child, his teachers were at fault for his doing badly in school... the democracies of the world were at fault for Germany losing the first world war, along with the socialists, and of course- the Jews.

His whole jail stay in the first place was a joke. He plays it off as one of his "struggles", but in reality his jail cell was as much of a hardship as Walden was a remote wilderness.

All I could think of, in the short bursts I managed to read, was how everyone I've ever known of saying "Oh, but he was so charismatic!" I've seen "Triumph of the Will", I've read his book. The guy was a nutjob. You'd lock your car door if he passed.

Seriously, gimme a break.

It's a difficult read. I hesitate to call it nationalistic as others have- there are people who are dedicated to their country without being so maddeningly accusatory.

The only thing I find striking is the fact it was written before he became Fuhrer... and yet people didn't see him coming. ...more
1

Mar 07, 2017

i HATE writing negative reviews but this one is the exception. i started reading this book a week ago and couldn't bring myself to finish it. so Why one star? Because everything about it is HORRIBLE. The writing style (translation), his ideas are just disturbingly fascinating, Bigotry at its best! i picked up this book thinking "it's time to hear his side of the story, his perspective." Let me be clear, Reading this book doesn't make me a "Nazi fan" or "Neo Nazi" i'm just a human driven by i HATE writing negative reviews but this one is the exception. i started reading this book a week ago and couldn't bring myself to finish it. so Why one star? Because everything about it is HORRIBLE. The writing style (translation), his ideas are just disturbingly fascinating, Bigotry at its best! i picked up this book thinking "it's time to hear his side of the story, his perspective." Let me be clear, Reading this book doesn't make me a "Nazi fan" or "Neo Nazi" i'm just a human driven by curiosity.

For a Long time i have been told to hate Hitler, (how can i not to when it’s shoved down my throat 24/7 ),Which by the way i don't (Gasp!!!). i condemn his actions and i hate his bigoted dangerous ideology, but i don't hate him as a human being. Hitler was once a boy who wanted to be a painter. He wasn't born evil. He gradually become evil with time. Also, Hitler was actually loved by his own people. Say what you want to say about him. He was a strong leader who knew how to run a damn empire!

Even Hitler’s opponents cannot deny that his party members not only believe fanatically in the Führer, but also love him passionately, honor him so much that dozens died for him, smiling and with his name on their lips. As Führer, Adolf Hitler stands far above us all, but as a person he is as our father or bother. -Tatsachen und Lügen um Hitler

Long story short, if your kid wants to be a painter or a song writer, Save the humanity and let them fucking be. ...more
5

Jan 21, 2010

It is very difficult to talk about this book, and to agree with those who review it positively, because the person who wrote it did terrible things. Anyone who reads this book should not fall prey to manipulation. But any book can be dangerous. We can blame the Holy Quran and the Holy Bible in just the same way.
I read Mein Kampf when I was quite young actually and because it was a forbidden book. There was only one copy at the town library and I had to sneak it out. So the context is as It is very difficult to talk about this book, and to agree with those who review it positively, because the person who wrote it did terrible things. Anyone who reads this book should not fall prey to manipulation. But any book can be dangerous. We can blame the Holy Quran and the Holy Bible in just the same way.
I read Mein Kampf when I was quite young actually and because it was a forbidden book. There was only one copy at the town library and I had to sneak it out. So the context is as important as the rest.
This is a memoir, a historical document, a madman's vision on politics and the organisation of the world. We send our youths to visit concentration camps in Germany beause what happend must never be forgotten. Well, I think that they should also read this book because it is part of what remains of those dark times, it is a part of our common European heritage. Yes, it is terrifying. But we need to remember the good and the bad. ...more
0

Dec 05, 2008

Being German, I first read it at the age of 15 or so, the copy my grandparents were given for their wedding in 1942. I did not understand everything at the time, in particular some of the allusions to the parliament, but I understood well enough and could not believe what I was reading. In Germany it is not easy to get a copy, I think, but for me this was and is a must-read. Hitler wrote it when no one believed he would ever be in a position to do all this nasty stuff - but then, when he was, he Being German, I first read it at the age of 15 or so, the copy my grandparents were given for their wedding in 1942. I did not understand everything at the time, in particular some of the allusions to the parliament, but I understood well enough and could not believe what I was reading. In Germany it is not easy to get a copy, I think, but for me this was and is a must-read. Hitler wrote it when no one believed he would ever be in a position to do all this nasty stuff - but then, when he was, he actually did exactly what he had said he would - creepy.

So, as Jame put it in his comment: Read it "as psychology", "in historical context" and "with perspective", but read it. ...more
1

Oct 19, 2015

[BEFORE READING; February 2016; scroll down for actual review]

I finally got this book!

I say "finally" because I pre-ordered it in mid-December 2015 and it should appear on January 8th. The publishing house decided to print only 4,000 copies, when the number of pre-orders allegedly was 15,000 at this point. The reprint seems to be running at full speed.

Interestingly the book can currently not be ordered from Amazon, although they say on their website:

"The proceeds from the sale of this book [BEFORE READING; February 2016; scroll down for actual review]

I finally got this book!

I say "finally" because I pre-ordered it in mid-December 2015 and it should appear on January 8th. The publishing house decided to print only 4,000 copies, when the number of pre-orders allegedly was 15,000 at this point. The reprint seems to be running at full speed.

Interestingly the book can currently not be ordered from Amazon, although they say on their website:

"The proceeds from the sale of this book through Amazon via www.amazon.de go to an organization committed for the benefit of victims of National Socialism."
(They don't say which organization that is though)

As always in such cases some shady businessmen appear offering the item in question via Amazon Marketplace at exorbitant prices. The offers range (as of today) from 175 EUR to 489 EUR, while the regular price is 59 EUR.

About the book itself:

It contains the complete text of Hitler's Mein Kampf together with a huge amount of scientific annotations that were made by a group of historians at the German Institute for Contemporary History. Click here for the description of the book on their website: http://www.ifz-muenchen.de/?id=550

The result is a two-volume work with almost 2,000 pages. This photo should give you an idea of how big (and heavy) these books are (dollar-bill for scale):



The main part has the following general structure:


[click to enlarge]

I added some highlighting:
red = Hitler's orginal text (only on odd-numbered pages, on the right)
yellow = differences/deletions made in the different editions of Mein Kampf together with the year they were made.
blue = Annotations (referenced by footnotes) of which there are about 3,500. Not all pages are so full as seen here, but most of them are.

As is usual in such a work, we also find a huge amount of additional information, a 90-page preface with essays and information about the original book, as well as a 250-page appendix.

When and how I read this giant book, I have not decided yet.

________________

[AFTER READING; June 2018]

It took me almost two years after buying the book before I actually started reading, and another 196 days to finish it. Given that the critical/annotated/scholarly (or whatever you like to call it) edition has 1966 pages in two large volumes this means I only read 10 pages per day on average (I took some week long breaks). I can’t say I was eager to continue reading after a long day of work, and sometimes I had to force myself on weekends too. Nonetheless, I persevered, and I have to admit that this makes me a little proud of myself.

Edition History

Contrary to popular belief, Hitler’s book was not banned in Germany after the war and people were not punished for possessing and/or reading it. However, it was illegal to reissue Mein Kampf; not for ideological, but simply for copyright reasons. In 1948, copyrights were transferred to the state of Bavaria which also assumed legal succession and trusteeship of the original publisher (Eher Verlag, Munich), and they denied any attempt to re-publish the book. Under German law a copyright expires 70 years after the death of the author and because Hitler died in 1945 the copyright expired at the end of 2015. Therefore, as of 2016, the text is in the public domain in Germany. (BTW, for the same reason, access to gutenberg.org has been blocked in Germany, because of some books by authors for whom the copyright has not yet expired, namely Heinrich Mann (+1950), Thomas Mann (+1955), and Alfred Döblin (+1957)). After a long and controversial debate, in which emotions boiled up, the “Institute of Contemporary History” in Munich, issued this edition in January 2016. Read some of the articles before and after the publication here (mostly German, some English).

Book History

Hitler wrote the first volume of Mein Kampf during his incarceration at the Landsberg penal facility. He was charged with high treason after the failed “Beer Hall Putsch” in 1924 and sentenced to five years of which he served only nine months before he was released for “good behaviour”. Hitler and his fellow conspirators (including his later deputy Rudolf Hess) had almost all the amenities and lived in this “fortress confinement” like in a hotel. In retrospect, this imprisonment was even a lucky break for Hitler. In addition to the propagandistic effect (the NSDAP party became much better known in public), it was above all the calm and repose in this “prison” that gave Hitler time to organize his thoughts and formulate his ideological world view. Part of the first volume is some kind of autobiography. At the time, writing a resume was part of rehabilitation and mandatory for inmates. There are contradictory statements about the exact development of the book and Hitler himself has commented on this only very little. The genesis, as far as it is known, is discussed in the introduction.

An Evil Book?

I think it’s fair to say that Mein Kampf is one of those books everyone has heard about, and to which almost everyone has an opinion, but hardly anyone has ever read completely. I happened to come into possession of an original 1936-edition but I doubt I would have read more than three chapters of it. Is this an evil book? Or a dangerous one? Do you become a Nazi by reading it? Or are Nazis converted by reading this pamphlet? I think all these questions have to be answered with “No”. In my opinion, nationalist ideas are neither fueled nor diminished by a scientific edition like this one. One aim of the editors was to de=mystify Hitler and his work. It’s not always easy to disprove an ideologue who, with no great knowledge or education to speak of, but judge the world with great determination, in order to consider himself entitled to destroy worlds and create a new ones. Nevertheless, at least as far as I’m concerned, the editors have mainly achieved their goal.

“Language” and Style

By all accounts Hitler was a successful speaker and gifted orator/actor. He was able to influence/manipulate large parts of the masses with his rhetoric in one form or another. It’s quite another thing to convey one’s thoughts in writing. Hitler once called himself a “political writer”. That's ridiculous. I can not remember ever having read a book that has such a weak prose. I refrain from giving examples(I do not want to quote Hitler), but especially the first volume is peppered with clumsy phrases that make one’s hair stand on end and I honestly do not understand why he didn’t hire a ghostwriter, or at least a good editor.

But there are also some more or less consistent stylistic devices with which Hitler repeatedly works and which perfidiously even seem to fulfill their purpose: many repetitions (Hitler was clearly aware that this means of propaganda actually works); use of sentimental and affective terms; strong hyperboles (the stronger the better); biological vocabulary (such as “animals”, “vermin”, “eradicate” in connection with Jews); use of proverbs, sayings and quotes of great poets (Goethe, Schiller, Shakespeare); use of negative connoted terms positively (for example, “brutal”, “ruthless”) [on the other Hitler uses “dictatorship” only in a negative sense against his enemies (like “dictatorship of the proletariat”, “world dictatorship of the Jews”]; nominal style (Hitler loved nouns); rhetorical questions with direct answers; modal particles usually only found in speech; many repetitions.

It is also typical and characteristic of Hitler’s argumentation technique that he speaks of “countless examples” in political or historical references, which would allegedly illustrate the correctness of his statements, but not give a single one. Another re-appearing kind of character is “destiny” or “fate” which comes around and explains things that are otherwise unexplainable.
The whole style has one advantage: There’s hardly any subtext to interpret. You can take Hitler at face-value, as history has shown in a frightening way. Unfortunately not many people did that at the time of publication when it was still possible to eradicate this still rather fragile movement.

Themes and Topіcs

The entire 780 pages of Mein Kampf essentially revolve around these two core themes: Hatred of the Jews and Lebensraum in the East. Again and again Hitler returns to these topics from different angles.

Jews were Hitler’s number one enemy. The other enemies, such as the capitalists, the left-wing political groups (all of which were subsumed under “Marxists”), and the critical (“lying”) press, were also interspersed with Jews and only served a “Jewish world revolution”. For Hitler, Jews were an inferior race that had to be “eradicated”, because only the toughest race could win the fight for survival, and of course that’s what the Aryans are for him. Elsewhere he certifies that the Jewish race has a self-preservation instinct stronger than any other. There are several contradictions of this kind, this Double=think, to be found in Hitler’s book and are wonderfully emphasized in the critical edition.

For Hitler, at the time of writing Mein Kampf, Germany lay on the ground, was, in his eyes, crippled. The lost First World War (1918), the November Revolution (1918/19), the Treaty of Versailles (1919) and the occupation of the Ruhr area (1923/25) - all of these were prove for the imminent downfall of Germany and its people. Only a strong leader would be able to counteract this downfall and make Germany great again. And, of course, this leader can only be himself, even if he does not explicitly say so (here we have a little subtext). In order to resurrect Germany, “living space” must be gained. This was out of the question for Hitler. A war against Russia, as well as the annihilation of the “hereditary enemy” France, was imperative to achieve this goal. (As a precaution, the passage on France was removed from the French translation) For this, Hitler was even prepared to make alliances with Italy and England. He desperately wanted a new war - that can not be interpreted any differently while reading.

Although Mein Kampf was not the exact blueprint for Hitler’s later reign, the book establishs an ideological framework from which he didn’t deviate until the very end in the bunker in Berlin in 1945. He himself speaks of a “granite foundation” of his world view, which he already acquired at the age of 20. Others speak of an “early solidification”, an attitude of intransigence, stubbornness, narrow-mindedness, and mental immobility that is usually, if ever, more likely to affect older people (senile stubbornness).

The Critical Edition

The most important part of this edition are the army of footnotes “surrounding the text like sentinels over the scandalous writing”. There are more than 3500 of them, so on average 4.5 footnotes per page of Mein Kampf. They serve both as contextualization, as well as correction of innumerable insinuations and flat mistakes of the text and at the times where Hitler got something right, the annotations provide further facts that were conveniently left out and put things into perspective. Each footnote is provided with at least one reference to a source, the bibliography or another place in Mein Kampf. I can not imagine what a Herculean task was accomplished here. The acknowledgments at the end of the book mention the many topics that needed expert advice. And there were many, many, many people involved in the production of the complete work!

The sheer amount of footnotes may look intimidating to the reader at first. For example, if you turn a page and see the following text that awaits reading, you might feel like quitting. That’s when I usually took a break (of days, sometimes weeks), waiting for my motivation to return to finish the book.


It has been argued that the annotations would “dignify Hitler’s world view by embedding his anti-Semitic clichés in well-established intellectual traditions.” I felt differently. The book calls a spade a spade, where necessary. Hitler was not born anit-Semit. He had his sources. And they are called by name, wherever possible. What’s wrong with that? In fact, that’s exactly the point of de-mystification to me. In January 2016, when the book was presented to the public, Ian Kershaw (author of a two-volume Hitler biography) also spoke and found only praising words for this edition. He said it would be “indispensable for future Hitler research.”

Rating Mein Kampf

I pondered a while about how or if I should rate this book, the critical edition of Mein Kampf. How do you judge a book whose text belongs to the worst I ever read (in content and form), but whose annotations and further information are valuable enough to give it four or even five stars? An average of two or three does not seem right to me either – lukewarm somehow. In the end, I opted for the worst possible rating. The main reason for this was that this edition was merged with all other editions of Mein Kampf (this is according to some GR policy and contrary to the librarian note I made when creating the book on GR). By giving the book a higher rating I would only increase the already way too high average of 3.14 (from 23,604 ratings). So, here we have the rare, and probably unique, case where I recommend a book that I rated with one star to anyone who is interested in German (and world) history and prepared to dig through this monster. Of course, this recommendation only applies for the critical edition!


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. ...more
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Dec 29, 2009

I don't actually intend to read this book, just to share the following passage from Volume 4 of Kasparov's My Great Predecessors. Bobby Fischer and Samuel Reshevsky at the 1970 Interzonal in Palma de Mallorca:During the tournament they could sometimes be seen, leisurely walking along, peacefully chatting, little Sammy and tall Fischer. An idyllic picture: an orthodox Jew and an extremist who praised Mein Kampf. Later Reshevsky explained: 'He has his views, I have my views. It didn't bother me. I I don't actually intend to read this book, just to share the following passage from Volume 4 of Kasparov's My Great Predecessors. Bobby Fischer and Samuel Reshevsky at the 1970 Interzonal in Palma de Mallorca:During the tournament they could sometimes be seen, leisurely walking along, peacefully chatting, little Sammy and tall Fischer. An idyllic picture: an orthodox Jew and an extremist who praised Mein Kampf. Later Reshevsky explained: 'He has his views, I have my views. It didn't bother me. I tried to make him see the light. I didn't succeed, but I tried.'One of the most extraordinary things about Fischer was that almost all his colleagues in the chess world genuinely liked and respected him. He was a unique person.
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Mar 29, 2016

I can understand why people want to read This. Out of curiosity. Or because it's kind of a forbidden fruit (but a rotten fruit). There's so much to read about the war and the holocaust. Read those books first. Read what survivors endured. Read about the trials against the nazi's. And then make up your mind. I'm sure that if you're well informed, and I mean really well, you don't want to read anything that was written by this vermin. It feels to me that giving in to your curiosity to read this I can understand why people want to read This. Out of curiosity. Or because it's kind of a forbidden fruit (but a rotten fruit). There's so much to read about the war and the holocaust. Read those books first. Read what survivors endured. Read about the trials against the nazi's. And then make up your mind. I'm sure that if you're well informed, and I mean really well, you don't want to read anything that was written by this vermin. It feels to me that giving in to your curiosity to read this 'book', is like making a deal with the devil. Do you really want that? And this has nothing to do with censorship. It's self-respect. It's what you stand for. ...more
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Oct 06, 2011

First things first...

Who should read this: Anyone intelligent enough to see through Hitler's BS.
Who should not-read this: everyone else

Unfortunately I was in the second category when I read Mein Kampf; most teenagers are. The first part of the book is a very convincing patriotic, nationalistic point of view. The second part is where all the hate propaganda truly begins. By the time naive readers reach the second part, they might be convinced that Hitler is making sensible arguments.

I was well First things first...

Who should read this: Anyone intelligent enough to see through Hitler's BS.
Who should not-read this: everyone else

Unfortunately I was in the second category when I read Mein Kampf; most teenagers are. The first part of the book is a very convincing patriotic, nationalistic point of view. The second part is where all the hate propaganda truly begins. By the time naive readers reach the second part, they might be convinced that Hitler is making sensible arguments.

I was well through three quarters of the book before I saw through Hitler's ruse. This was the first (and last, so far) book to trick me, and give Hitler props for that. As for the actual substance of the book, it is nothing but a desperate attempt to allot blame where it does not belong.

It fails at being a literary work of any decent calibre; but thoroughly succeeds in being a work of unflinching propaganda. ...more
1

Sep 10, 2007

I laughed. I cried. It was better than Cats. But I still didn't like it. I even tried listening to Wagner and making shitty art while reading it...nothing. What the heck, it beats the shit out of The Fountainhead...right? No? Yeah, its pretty bad. Analyze it all you want for whatever reason - it still blows.

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