George Orwell’s Review of Mein Kampf, March 1940

George Orwell’s Review of Mein Kampf, March 1940


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1EN-625-B1945

Christopher Hitchens once wrote that there were three big issues of the 20th century – imperialism, fascism and Stalinism – and George Orwell got them all right.

These powers of prescience and perception are evident in this review, published at a time when the upper classes were backpedalling hard on their initial support for the rise of the Fuhrer and the Third Reich. Orwell acknowledges from the outset that this review of Mein Kampf lacks the ‘pro Hitler angle’ of previous editions.

Who was George Orwell?

George Orwell was an English Socialist writer. He was libertarian and egalitarian and he was also hostile to the Soviet Communist Party.

Orwell had long held a great hatred for Fascism, a form of radical authoritarian ultranationalism, characterised by totalitarianism (when a dictatorial regime that had complete control over everything).

Author and journalist Dorian Lynskey answers key questions about one of the seminal novels of the 20th century, George Orwell's 1984, which was published 70 years ago.

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Before war with Germany broke out, Orwell had taken part in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) on the Republican side, specifically to fight Fascism.

When World War Two erupted in 1939, Orwell attempted to sign up for the British Army. He was deemed unfit for any kind of military service, however, because he was tubercular. Nevertheless Orwell was able to serve in the Home Guard.

Although Orwell was unable to join the army and fight Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich on the front lines, he was able to attack the German dictator and his far-right regime in his writing.

This was most clearly shown in his review of Mein Kampf in March 1940.

Of all the air raids carried out during World War Two, none are as famous as the attack by Lancaster Bombers against the dams of Germany’s industrial heartland. Commemorated in literature and film throughout the decades, the mission – which was codenamed Operation ‘Chastise’ – has come to epitomise British ingenuity and courage throughout the war.

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Orwell makes two superb observations in his review:

1. He interprets Hitler’s expansionist intentions correctly. Hitler possesses ‘the fixed vision of a monomaniac’ and he intends to smash England first and then Russia, and ultimately to create ‘a contiguous state of 250 million Germans…a horrible brainless empire in which, essentially, nothing ever happens excepts the training of young men for war and the endless breeding of fresh cannon-fodder.

2. Hitler’s appeal has two fundamental components. First that Hitler’s image is of the aggrieved, that he emits the aura of the martyr that resonates with a beleaguered German population. Second that he knows that humans ‘at least intermittently’ yearn for ‘struggle and self-sacrifice.’


George Orwell’s Review of Mein Kampf in 1940

I noted particularly Orwell’s prescience about Hitler’s intent to attack the Soviets despite the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, and his allusion to what you call mankind’s chimp nature.

Thirteen years later Eric Hoffer published True Believer. I’m re-reading it now. With benefit of hindsight he says essentially the same things as Orwell, though nowhere near as vividly and compactly. And Hoffer says a lot more, for instance the uncanny ability of Hitler, and other demagogic leaders of violent mass movements, to command the fanatic loyalty of a group of very smart and capable lieutenants.

I guess that the occasion for Prof. DeLong posting this review is that Mein Kampf has been published in Germany for the first time since WW II. Of course, the book was widely available elsewhere. Mein Kampf means My Struggle, and I note that many Muslims tell us that jihad also means struggle, in the sense of an internal individual struggle.

Here’s one part of the review that I thought was remarkable.

Mein Kampf Vol. 1 and 2, published in 1925 and 1926

Hitler became the German chancellor in 1933.

Germany sent troops into its Rhineland province, demilitarized by treaty after WW I, in 1936.

Germany incorporated Austrian, the Anschluss, in 1938.

Germany invades and incorporates the German-speaking part of Czechoslovakia, in March 1939, after the Munich agreement of September 1938.

Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact signed in August 1939. Orwell calls this the “Russo-German Pact.” This was a non-aggression pact signed by the Germans and the Soviets.

Germany invaded Poland in September 1939. The Soviet Union (and a small contingent from Slovakia) invaded Poland too.

France and Britain declared war with Germany, as they had promised the Poles they would do, but they were unable to provide military help. This was the period of the so-called Phoney War. They established a naval blockade, however, and the Germans began U-boat attacks against British ships.

==> Orwell’s review published in March 1940.

Germany invaded Denmark and Norway in April 1940.

Germany invaded France in May 1940, and Churchill replaced Chamberlain as British Prime Minister. (The Germans also invaded Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.) France fell and the British army was driven from mainland Europe in June 1940.

Skipping over some other important events, such as the German invasion of Yugoslavia and of Greece.

Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1940.

Thus, Orwell correctly proposed that Hitler would deal with Western Europe, especially France and Britain, first, and then invade the Soviet Union.

After the fall of France, Germany prepared to invade Britain, and launched the Battle of Britain, designed to cow the British into submission and to eliminate the RAF. This latter action was necessary to allow the Luftwaffe to protect the German invasion of Britain from both the RAF and the Royal Navy. Yet, by December 1940 with the Battle of Britain ending in failure for the Luftwaffe, Hitler signed the orders for the invasion of the Soviet Union, scheduled for May 1940. At that time, it appeared that the RAF had won the Battle of Britain, so the Germans could not invade it, but neither could the British significantly threaten the Germans.

During the 1930s the Soviet Union had provided Germany with significant supplies of food, fuel, and raw materials, and the non-aggression pact cemented this relationship. Thus, the German takeover of Western Europe was partly made possible by supplies from the Soviet Union. Indeed, the invasion of the Soviet Union, the German’s Operation Barbarossa, was partly made possible by supplies from the Soviet Union.

You have to wonder that Stalin, somehow, did not believe that Hitler meant to carry out what he had written. Indeed, Stalin had so much confidence in his non-aggression treaty with Hitler that he ignored warnings from the British government and others that the Germans would invade in the summer of 1940. He ordered little or no mobilization or any significant preparation for defense and countermanded efforts by Red Army generals at the front lines.


Celebrate George Orwell’s birthday by reading his (scathing) 1940 review of Mein Kampf.

One year after the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia (and a full year before the New York Times decided it was a good idea to publish an excerpt from Der Führer’s poisonous opus), celebrated writer, literary critic, and vocal opponent of totalitarianism George Orwell (who was born 107 years ago today) reviewed Mein Kampf.

He was, as you can imagine, not a fan.

As Orwell notes right off the bat, a previous edition of autobiography—published just a year before—seemed invested in presenting Hitler, despite the laundry list of atrocities he had already carried out, “in as kindly a light as possible”:

It is a sign of the speed at which events are moving that Hurst and Blackett’s unexpurgated edition of Mein Kampf, published only a year ago, is edited from a pro-Hitler angle. The obvious intention of the translator’s preface and notes is to tone down the book’s ferocity and present Hitler in as kindly a light as possible. For at that date Hitler was still respectable. He had crushed the German labour movement, and for that the property-owning classes were willing to forgive him almost anything. Both Left and Right concurred in the very shallow notion that National Socialism was merely a version of Conservatism.

Then suddenly it turned out that Hitler was not respectable after all. As one result of this, Hurst and Blackett’s edition was reissued in a new jacket explaining that all profits would be devoted to the Red Cross. Nevertheless, simply on the internal evidence of Mein Kampf, it is difficult to believe that any real change has taken place in Hitler’s aims and opinions. When one compares his utterances of a year or so ago with those made fifteen years earlier, a thing that strikes one is the rigidity of his mind, the way in which his world-view doesn’t develop. It is the fixed vision of a monomaniac and not likely to be much affected by the temporary manoeuvres of power politics. Probably, in Hitler’s own mind, the Russo-German Pact represents no more than an alteration of time-table. The plan laid down in Mein Kampf was to smash Russia first, with the implied intention of smashing England afterwards. Now, as it has turned out, England has got to be dealt with first, because Russia was the more easily bribed of the two. But Russia’s turn will come when England is out of the picture—that, no doubt, is how Hitler sees it. Whether it will turn out that way is of course a different question.

Orwell, the godfather of dystopian fiction, then goes on to imagine a nightmarish future in which a 250 million-strong German Empire extends from Western Europe to Afghanistan. He also astutely analyzes the particularly insidious martyr complex and toxic charisma that enabled Hitler to rise and entrance:

Suppose that Hitler’s programme could be put into effect. What he envisages, a hundred years hence, is a continuous state of 250 million Germans with plenty of ‘living room’ (i.e. stretching to Afghanistan or thereabouts), a horrible brainless empire in which, essentially, nothing ever happens except the training of young men for war and the endless breeding of fresh cannon-fodder. How was it that he was able to put this monstrous vision across? It is easy to say that at one stage of his career he was financed by the heavy industrialists, who saw in him the man who would smash the Socialists and Communists. They would not have backed him, however, if he had not talked a great movement into existence already. Again, the situation in Germany, with its seven million unemployed, was obviously favourable for demagogues. But Hitler could not have succeeded against his many rivals if it had not been for the attraction of his own personality, which one can feel even in the clumsy writing of Mein Kampf, and which is no doubt overwhelming when one hears his speeches…The fact is that there is something deeply appealing about him. One feels it again when one sees his photographs—and I recommend especially the photograph at the beginning of Hurst and Blackett’s edition, which shows Hitler in his early Brownshirt days. It is a pathetic, dog-like face, the face of a man suffering under intolerable wrongs. In a rather more manly way it reproduces the expression of innumerable pictures of Christ crucified, and there is little doubt that that is how Hitler sees himself. The initial, personal cause of his grievance against the universe can only be guessed at but at any rate the grievance is here. He is the martyr, the victim, Prometheus chained to the rock, the self-sacrificing hero who fights single-handed against impossible odds. If he were killing a mouse he would know how to make it seem like a dragon. One feels, as with Napoleon, that he is fighting against destiny, that he can’t win, and yet that he somehow deserves to. The attraction of such a pose is of course enormous half the films that one sees turn upon some such theme.

Finally, the future Nineteen Eighty-Four author cautions against underestimating the emotional appeal of such a man, for whose promise of glory though “struggle, danger, and death” an entire nation sold its soul:

Also he has grasped the falsity of the hedonistic attitude to life. Nearly all western thought since the last war, certainly all ‘progressive’ thought, has assumed tacitly that human beings desire nothing beyond ease, security and avoidance of pain. In such a view of life there is no room, for instance, for patriotism and the military virtues. The Socialist who finds his children playing with soldiers is usually upset, but he is never able to think of a substitute for the tin soldiers tin pacifists somehow won’t do. Hitler, because in his own joyless mind he feels it with exceptional strength, knows that human beings don’t only want comfort, safety, short working-hours, hygiene, birth-control and, in general, common sense they also, at least intermittently, want struggle and self-sacrifice, not to mention drums, flags and loyalty-parades. However they may be as economic theories, Fascism and Nazism are psychologically far sounder than any hedonistic conception of life. The same is probably true of Stalin’s militarised version of Socialism. All three of the great dictators have enhanced their power by imposing intolerable burdens on their peoples. 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. Perhaps later on they will get sick of it and change their minds, as at the end of the last war. After a few years of slaughter and starvation ‘Greatest happiness of the greatest number’ is a good slogan, but at this moment ‘Better an end with horror than a horror without end’ is a winner. Now that we are fighting against the man who coined it, we ought not to underrate its emotional appeal.


George Orwell Reviews Mein Kampf: “He Envisages a Horrible Brainless Empire” (1940)

Christopher Hitchens once wrote that there were three major issues of the twentieth century — imperialism, fascism, and Stalinism — and George Orwell proved to be right about all of them.

Orwell displays his remarkable foresight in a fascinating book review, published in March 1940, of Adolf Hitler’s notorious autobiography Mein Kampf. In the review, the author deftly cuts to the root of Hitler’s toxic charisma, and, along the way, anticipates themes to appear in his future masterpieces, Animal Farm and 1984.

The fact is that there is something deeply appealing about him. […] Hitler … knows that human beings don’t only want comfort, safety, short working-hours, hygiene, birth-control and, in general, common sense they also, at least intermittently, want struggle and self-sacrifice, not to mention drums, flags and loyalty-parades. However they may be as economic theories, Fascism and Nazism are psychologically far sounder than any hedonistic conception of life.

Yet Orwell was certainly no fan of Hitler. At one point in the review, he imagines what a world where the Third Reich succeeds might look like:

What [Hitler] envisages, a hundred years hence, is a continuous state of 250 million Germans with plenty of “living room” (i.e. stretching to Afghanistan or there- abouts), a horrible brainless empire in which, essentially, nothing ever happens except the training of young men for war and the endless breeding of fresh cannon-fodder.

The article was written at a moment when, as Orwell notes, the upper class was backpedaling hard against their previous support of the Third Reich. In fact, a previous edition of Mein Kampf — published in 1939 in England — had a distinctly favorable view of the Führer .

“The obvious intention of the translator’s preface and notes [was] to tone down the book’s ferocity and present Hitler in as kindly a light as possible. For at that date Hitler was still respectable. He had crushed the German labour movement, and for that the property-owning classes were willing to forgive him almost anything. Then suddenly it turned out that Hitler was not respectable after all.”

By March 1940, everything had changed, and a new edition of Mein Kampf, reflecting changing views of Hitler, was published in England. Britain and France had declared war on Germany after its invasion of Poland but real fighting had yet to start in Western Europe. Within months, France would fall and Britain would teeter on the brink. But in the early spring of that year, all was pretty quiet. The world was collectively holding its breath. And in this moment of terrifying suspense, Orwell predicts much of the future war.

When one compares his utterances of a year or so ago with those made fifteen years earlier, a thing that strikes one is the rigidity of his mind, the way in which his world-view doesn’t develop. It is the fixed vision of a monomaniac and not likely to be much affected by the temporary manoeuvres of power politics. Probably, in Hitler’s own mind, the Russo-German Pact represents no more than an alteration of timetable. The plan laid down in Mein Kampf was to smash Russia first, with the implied intention of smashing England afterwards. Now, as it has turned out, England has got to be dealt with first, because Russia was the more easily bribed of the two. But Russia’s turn will come when England is out of the picture — that, no doubt, is how Hitler sees it. Whether it will turn out that way is of course a different question.

In June of 1941, Hitler invaded Russia, in one of the greatest strategic blunders in the history of modern warfare. Stalin was completely blindsided by the invasion and news of Hitler’s betrayal reportedly caused Stalin to have a nervous breakdown. Clearly, he didn’t read Mein Kampf as closely as Orwell had.

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Find 1984 and Animal Farm in our Free Audio Books and Free eBooks collections

Jonathan Crow is a Los Angeles-based writer and filmmaker whose work has appeared in Yahoo!, The Hollywood Reporter, and other publications. You can follow him at @jonccrow. And check out his blog Veeptopus, featuring one new drawing of a vice president with an octopus on his head daily.


George Orwell Reviews Mein Kampf: “He Envisages a Horrible Brainless Empire” (1940)

Christopher Hitchens once wrote that there were three major issues of the twentieth century — imperialism, fascism, and Stalinism — and George Orwell proved to be right about all of them.

Orwell displays his remarkable foresight in a fascinating book review, published in March 1940, of Adolf Hitler’s notorious autobiography Mein Kampf. In the review, the author deftly cuts to the root of Hitler’s toxic charisma, and, along the way, anticipates themes to appear in his future masterpieces, Animal Farm and 1984.

The fact is that there is something deeply appealing about him. […] Hitler … knows that human beings don’t only want comfort, safety, short working-hours, hygiene, birth-control and, in general, common sense they also, at least intermittently, want struggle and self-sacrifice, not to mention drums, flags and loyalty-parades. However they may be as economic theories, Fascism and Nazism are psychologically far sounder than any hedonistic conception of life.

Yet Orwell was certainly no fan of Hitler. At one point in the review, he imagines what a world where the Third Reich succeeds might look like:

What [Hitler] envisages, a hundred years hence, is a continuous state of 250 million Germans with plenty of “living room” (i.e. stretching to Afghanistan or there- abouts), a horrible brainless empire in which, essentially, nothing ever happens except the training of young men for war and the endless breeding of fresh cannon-fodder.

The article was written at a moment when, as Orwell notes, the upper class was backpedaling hard against their previous support of the Third Reich. In fact, a previous edition of Mein Kampf — published in 1939 in England — had a distinctly favorable view of the Führer.

“The obvious intention of the translator’s preface and notes [was] to tone down the book’s ferocity and present Hitler in as kindly a light as possible. For at that date Hitler was still respectable. He had crushed the German labour movement, and for that the property-owning classes were willing to forgive him almost anything. Then suddenly it turned out that Hitler was not respectable after all.”

By March 1940, everything had changed, and a new edition of Mein Kampf, reflecting changing views of Hitler, was published in England. Britain and France had declared war on Germany after its invasion of Poland but real fighting had yet to start in Western Europe. Within months, France would fall and Britain would teeter on the brink. But in the early spring of that year, all was pretty quiet. The world was collectively holding its breath. And in this moment of terrifying suspense, Orwell predicts much of the future war.

When one compares his utterances of a year or so ago with those made fifteen years earlier, a thing that strikes one is the rigidity of his mind, the way in which his world-view doesn’t develop. It is the fixed vision of a monomaniac and not likely to be much affected by the temporary manoeuvres of power politics. Probably, in Hitler’s own mind, the Russo-German Pact represents no more than an alteration of timetable. The plan laid down in Mein Kampf was to smash Russia first, with the implied intention of smashing England afterwards. Now, as it has turned out, England has got to be dealt with first, because Russia was the more easily bribed of the two. But Russia’s turn will come when England is out of the picture — that, no doubt, is how Hitler sees it. Whether it will turn out that way is of course a different question.

In June of 1941, Hitler invaded Russia, in one of the greatest strategic blunders in the history of modern warfare. Stalin was completely blindsided by the invasion and news of Hitler’s betrayal reportedly caused Stalin to have a nervous breakdown. Clearly, he didn’t read Mein Kampf as closely as Orwell had.

Related Content:

Jonathan Crow is a Los Angeles-based writer and filmmaker whose work has appeared in Yahoo!, The Hollywood Reporter, and other publications. You can follow him at @jonccrow. And check out his blog Veeptopus, featuring one new drawing of a vice president with an octopus on his head daily.


Review of Mein Kampf, by Adolf Hitler, unabridged translation - George Orwell

I apologize for posting something this political on an architectural site, but Archinect is my social media. I never joined facebook out of principle, remember when you had to know somebody? When I googled this text on the web, which I was about to re-type, I found someone had already posted it - united architects Working on a blog about Liberland )

it's possible architects are often privileged to the agendas of the privileged, and we often find ourselves friends with the working class - we know two different worlds very well.

Read between the lines and the read the lines, please.

by the way Germany has decided to allow publication of Mein Kampf , with all good intentions aside, the fervor always trumps the intellectual.

Review of Mein Kampf, by Adolf Hitler, unabridged translation - George Orwell

It is a sign of the speed at which events are moving that Hurst and Blackett’s unexpurgated edition of Mein Kampf, published only a year ago, is edited from a pro-Hitler angle. The obvious intention of the translator’s preface and notes is to tone down the book’s ferocity and present Hitler in as kindly a light as possible. For at that date Hitler was still respectable. He had crushed the German labour movement, and for that the property-owning classes were willing to forgive him almost anything. Both Left and Right concurred in the very shallow notion that National Socialism was merely a version of Conservatism.

Then suddenly it turned out that Hitler was not respectable after all. As one result of this, Hurst and Blackett’s edition was reissued in a new jacket explaining that all profits would be devoted to the Red Cross. Nevertheless, simply on the internal evidence of Mein Kampf, it is difficult to believe that any real change has taken place in Hitler’s aims and opinions. When one compares his utterances of a year or so ago with those made fifteen years earlier, a thing that strikes one is the rigidity of his mind, the way in which his world-view doesn’t develop. It is the fixed vision of a monomaniac and not likely to be much affected by the temporary manoeuvres of power politics. Probably, in Hitler’s own mind, the Russo-German Pact represents no more than an alteration of time-table. The plan laid down in Mein Kampf was to smash Russia first, with the implied intention of smashing England afterwards. Now, as it has turned out, England has got to be dealt with first, because Russia was the more easily bribed of the two. But Russia’s turn will come when England is out of the picture — that, no doubt, is how Hitler sees it. Whether it will turn out that way is of course a different question.


George Orwell's 1940 Review of Mein Kampf

This is great. We really do not get to see enough contemporaneous accounts of Hitler, far more illuminating than most post-war canonical takes.

Our rendition of history often says more about us than those who lived then. E h Carr’s advice was to use contemporaneous accounts since it gets whittled away over time. We really can’t know what gets tossed away who and how it was decided. I find this particular true in wwii history if you try and ask questions like “did it make sense to drop the a bomb?” And “why did hitler open a two front war?”

Today we feel that we benefit from retrospect but it’s more that we have a compressed account of what happened we feel so confident in our inherited wisdom.

Probably, in Hitler’s own mind, the Russo-German Pact represents no more than an alteration of time-table. The plan laid down in Mein Kampf was to smash Russia first, with the implied intention of smashing England afterwards. Now, as it has turned out, England has got to be dealt with first, because Russia was the more easily bribed of the two. But Russia’s turn will come when England is out of the picture—that, no doubt, is how Hitler sees it. Whether it will turn out that way is of course a different question.


George Orwell’s Review of Mein Kampf, March 1940 - History

The first 5 minutes looks like a democrat rally

Corporatist like Disney, just want more money and power. The less differences between consumers the easier transactions the more money to be made. Destroy all individuality, destroy all conflict, consumption between all groups (fore example cake makers and photographers unable to decline customers based on beliefs) the more money for the corporation as well as taxes for the government.

Think of the interstate commerce clause.

Once one group is included and becomes a sustained area of continuous profit, a new cause needs to be found for profit.

Social Justice is the new cause of the day. If it makes money, it will continues forward. If it fails to produce revenue it will stop.

Yes, our biggest sickness today is affluenza. We have it too good and fail to appreciate it and so look for any irritant no matter how small to fight over and destroy what they don’t appreciate .

The good news is that affluenza contains its own remedy in that once the ingrates kill the goose that lays the golden egg, they will then appreciate what they had. The bad news is that it’ll take a long time to revive the golden goose.

I agree with the guy that when things get too easy people get bored and look for other things to fill their lives. Without any religious meaning to give direction to their lives they look at any other source for purpose and they find it our social condition, inequalities no matter how small seem to be their main attractions.

I also agree that this phenomenon is part of human nature, but not all humans suffer from it. In fact it is a relatively small percentage that are afflicted by affluenza. It is what we call the left, the elites, the intelligentsia, the self anointed intellectuals.

Most “normal” people appreciate the affluent times and readily accept and understand whatever inequalities might exist.


‘The fixed vision of a monomaniac’: George Orwell’s 1940 review of Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’

Hitler declaring war against the United States to the Reichstag. | Bundesarchiv, Bild / CC BY-SA 3.0

It is a sign of the speed at which events are moving that Hurst and Blackett’s unexpurgated edition of Mein Kampf, published only a year ago, is edited from a pro-Hitler angle. The obvious intention of the translator’s preface and notes is to tone down the book’s ferocity and present Hitler in as kindly a light as possible. For at that date Hitler was still respectable.

He had crushed the German labour movement, and for that the property-owning classes were willing to forgive him almost anything. Both Left and Right concurred in the very shallow notion that National Socialism was merely a version of Conservatism.

Then suddenly it turned out that Hitler was not respectable after all. As one result of this, Hurst and Blackett’s edition was reissued in a new jacket explaining that all profits would be devoted to the Red Cross. Nevertheless, simply on the internal evidence of Mein Kampf, it is difficult to believe that any real change has taken place in Hitler’s aims and opinions.

When one compares his utterances of a year or so ago with those made fifteen years earlier, a thing that strikes one is the rigidity of his mind, the way in which his world-view doesn’t develop. It is the fixed vision of a monomaniac and not likely to be much affected by the temporary manoeuvres of power politics. Probably, in Hitler’s own mind, the Russo-German Pact represents no more than an alteration of time-table.

The plan laid down in Mein Kampf was to smash Russia first, with the implied intention of smashing England afterwards. Now, as it has turned out, England has got to be dealt with first, because Russia was the more easily bribed of the two. But Russia’s turn will come when England is out of the picture – that, no doubt, is how Hitler sees it. Whether it will turn out that way is of course a different question.

The Hurst & Blackett edition of 'Mein Kampf' in English translation

Suppose that Hitler’s programme could be put into effect. What he envisages, a hundred years hence, is a continuous state of 250 million Germans with plenty of “living room” (ie stretching to Afghanistan or thereabouts), a horrible brainless empire in which, essentially, nothing ever happens except the training of young men for war and the endless breeding of fresh cannon-fodder. How was it that he was able to put this monstrous vision across?

It is easy to say that at one stage of his career he was financed by the heavy industrialists, who saw in him the man who would smash the Socialists and Communists. They would not have backed him, however, if he had not talked a great movement into existence already. Again, the situation in Germany, with its seven million unemployed, was obviously favourable for demagogues. But Hitler could not have succeeded against his many rivals if it had not been for the attraction of his own personality, which one can feel even in the clumsy writing of Mein Kampf, and which is no doubt overwhelming when one hears his speeches…

The fact is that there is something deeply appealing about him. One feels it again when one sees his photographs – and I recommend especially the photograph at the beginning of Hurst and Blackett’s edition, which shows Hitler in his early Brownshirt days. It is a pathetic, dog-like face, the face of a man suffering under intolerable wrongs. In a rather more manly way it reproduces the expression of innumerable pictures of Christ crucified, and there is little doubt that that is how Hitler sees himself.

The initial, personal cause of his grievance against the universe can only be guessed at but at any rate the grievance is here. He is the martyr, the victim, Prometheus chained to the rock, the self-sacrificing hero who fights single-handed against impossible odds. If he were killing a mouse he would know how to make it seem like a dragon. One feels, as with Napoleon, that he is fighting against destiny, that he can’t win, and yet that he somehow deserves to. The attraction of such a pose is of course enormous half the films that one sees turn upon some such theme.

Also he has grasped the falsity of the hedonistic attitude to life. Nearly all western thought since the last war, certainly all “progressive” thought, has assumed tacitly that human beings desire nothing beyond ease, security and avoidance of pain. In such a view of life there is no room, for instance, for patriotism and the military virtues. The Socialist who finds his children playing with soldiers is usually upset, but he is never able to think of a substitute for the tin soldiers tin pacifists somehow won’t do.

Dust jacket of 'Mein Kampf' (1926–28 edition)

Hitler, because in his own joyless mind he feels it with exceptional strength, knows that human beings don’t only want comfort, safety, short working-hours, hygiene, birth-control and, in general, common sense they also, at least intermittently, want struggle and self-sacrifice, not to mention drums, flags and loyalty-parades. However they may be as economic theories, Fascism and Nazism are psychologically far sounder than any hedonistic conception of life.

The same is probably true of Stalin’s militarised version of Socialism. All three of the great dictators have enhanced their power by imposing intolerable burdens on their peoples. 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. Perhaps later on they will get sick of it and change their minds, as at the end of the last war.

After a few years of slaughter and starvation, “Greatest happiness of the greatest number” is a good slogan, but at this moment “Better an end with horror than a horror without end” is a winner. Now that we are fighting against the man who coined it, we ought not to underrate its emotional appeal.


Contents

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. [7] Max Amann, head of the Franz Eher Verlag and Hitler's publisher, is said to have suggested [8] the much shorter "Mein Kampf", or "My Struggle".

The arrangement of chapters is as follows:

  • Volume One: A Reckoning
    • Chapter 1: In the House of My Parents
    • Chapter 2: Years of Study and Suffering in Vienna
    • Chapter 3: General Political Considerations Based on My Vienna Period
    • Chapter 4: Munich
    • Chapter 5: The World War
    • Chapter 6: War Propaganda
    • Chapter 7: The Revolution
    • Chapter 8: The Beginning of My Political Activity
    • Chapter 9: The "German Workers' Party"
    • Chapter 10: Causes of the Collapse
    • Chapter 11: Nation and Race
    • Chapter 12: The First Period of Development of the National Socialist German Workers' Party
    • Chapter 1: Philosophy and Party
    • Chapter 2: The State
    • Chapter 3: Subjects and Citizens
    • Chapter 4: Personality and the Conception of the Völkisch State
    • Chapter 5: Philosophy and Organization
    • Chapter 6: The Struggle of the Early Period – the Significance of the Spoken Word
    • Chapter 7: The Struggle with the Red Front
    • Chapter 8: The Strong Man Is Mightiest Alone
    • Chapter 9: Basic Ideas Regarding the Meaning and Organization of the Sturmabteilung
    • Chapter 10: Federalism as a Mask
    • Chapter 11: Propaganda and Organization
    • Chapter 12: The Trade-Union Question
    • Chapter 13: German Alliance Policy After the War
    • Chapter 14: Eastern Orientation or Eastern Policy
    • Chapter 15: The Right of Emergency Defense

    In Mein Kampf, Hitler used the main thesis of "the Jewish peril", which posits a Jewish conspiracy to gain world leadership. [9] 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. [10] 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. [11] First published in 1925, Mein Kampf shows Hitler's personal grievances and his ambitions for creating a New Order. Hitler also wrote that The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a fabricated text which purported to expose the Jewish plot to control the world, [12] was an authentic document. This later became a part of the Nazi propaganda effort to justify persecution and annihilation of the Jews. [13] [14]

    The historian Ian Kershaw points out that several passages in Mein Kampf are undeniably of a genocidal nature. [15] 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", [16] 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." [17]

    The racial laws to which Hitler referred resonate directly with his ideas in Mein Kampf. In the first edition, 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". [18]

    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. [19] 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 efficacy of the German element in an inferior race." [20]

    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. [21]

    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.) [22] Hitler had made about 1.2 million Reichsmarks from the income of the book by 1933 (equivalent to €5,139,482 in 2017), when the average annual income of a teacher was about 4,800 Marks (equivalent to €20,558 in 2017). [22] [23] 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). [22] [23]

    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." [24] Nevertheless, Mein Kampf was a bestseller in Germany during the 1930s. [25] 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. [22] By 1939 it had sold 5.2 million copies in eleven languages. [26] By the end of the war, about 10 million copies of the book had been sold or distributed in Germany. [ citation needed ]

    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". [27]

    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. [ citation needed ]

    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. [28]

    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". [29]

    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. [30]

    In his 1943 book The Menace of the Herd, Austrian scholar Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn [31] described Hitler's ideas in Mein Kampf and elsewhere as "a veritable reductio ad absurdum of 'progressive' thought" [32] 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.'" [33] 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. In Mein Kampf, Hitler 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. [34]

    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. [35]

    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), the theologian Karl Barth's The Epistle to the Romans (1922), and the philosopher Martin Heidegger's Being and Time (1927). [36]

    A number of translators have commented on the poor quality of Hitler's use of language in writing Mein Kampf. Olivier Mannoni, who translated the 2021 French critical edition, said about the original German text that it was "An incoherent soup, one could become half-mad translating it," and said that previous translations had corrected the language, giving the false impression that Hitler was a "cultured man" with "coherent and grammatically correct reasoning". He added "To me, making this text elegant is a crime." [37] Mannoni's comments are similar to those made by Ralph Manheim, who made the first English-language translation in 1943. Mannheim wrote in the foreword to the edition "Where Hitler's formulations challenge the reader's credulity I have quoted the German original in the notes." This evaluation of the awfulness of Hitler's prose and his inability to express his opinions coherently was shared by William S. Schlamm, who reviewed Manheim's translation in The New York Times, writing that "there was not the faintest similarity to a thought and barely a trace of language." [38]

    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.

    2016 critical edition

    After the death of Hitler, the copyright passed to the government of Bavaria, which refused to allow it to be republished. The copyright ran out on December 31, 2015.

    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. [39] 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. [40] 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". [41] 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". [40]

    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. [42] The IfZ scheduled an edition of Mein Kampf for release in 2016. [43]

    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". [44]

    The annotated edition of Mein Kampf was published in Germany in January 2016 and sold out within hours on Amazon's German site. The two-volume edition included about 3,5000 notes, and was almost 2,000 pages long. [45]

    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. [25] German officials had previously said they would limit public access to the text amid fears that its republication could stir neo-Nazi sentiment. [46] 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. [47] By January 2017, the German annotated edition had sold over 85,000 copies. [48]

    Ever since the early 1930s, the history of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf in English has been complicated and has been the occasion for controversy. [49] [50] No fewer than four full translations were completed before 1945, as well as a number of extracts in newspapers, pamphlets, government documents and unpublished typescripts. Not all of these had official approval from his publishers, Eher Verlag. Since the war, the 1943 Ralph Manheim translation has been the most popular published translation, though other versions have continued to circulate.

    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, upon the expiration of the calendar year 70 years after the author's death. [51]

    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 organizations, 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. [52] 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. [53]

    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 "influential people" however, most of them treated the book as a casual gift and did not read it. [54] 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. [55]

    In 1938, Hitler licensed for France an authorized 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"). [56]

    After the war, Fernand Sorlot re-edited, re-issued, and continued to sell the work, without permission from the state of Bavaria, to 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. [55]

    On 1 January 2016, seventy years after the author's death, Mein Kampf entered the public domain in France. [55]

    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. [55]

    In 2021, a 1,000 page critical edition, based on the German edition of 2016, was published in France. Titled Historiciser le mal: Une édition critique de Mein Kampf ("Historicizing Evil: A Critical Edition of Mein Kampf"), with almost twice as much commentary as text, it was edited by Florent Brayard and Andraes Wirsching, translated by Olivier Mannoni, and published by Fayard. The print run was deliberately kept small at 10,000 available only by special order, with copies set aside for public libraries. Proceeds from the sale of the edition are earmarked for the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation. Some critics who had objected in advance to the edition's publication had fewer objections upon publication. One historian noted that there were so many annotations that Hitler’s text had become "secondary." [37]

    India

    Since its first publication in India in 1928, Mein Kampf has gone through hundreds of editions and sold over 100,000 copies. [57] [58] Mein Kampf was translated into various Indian languages such as Hindi, Gujarati, Malayalam, Tamil and Bengali. [59]

    Israel

    An extract of Mein Kampf in Hebrew was first published in 1992 by Akadamon with 400 copies. [60] Then the complete translation of the book in Hebrew was published by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1995. The translator was Dan Yaron, a Vienna-born retired teacher and Holocaust survivor. [61]

    Latvia

    On 5 May 1995 a translation of Mein Kampf released by a small Latvian publishing house Vizītkarte began appearing in bookstores, provoking a reaction from Latvian authorities, who confiscated the approximately 2,000 copies that had made their way to the bookstores and charged director of the publishing house Pēteris Lauva with offences under anti-racism law. [62] Currently the publication of Mein Kampf is forbidden in Latvia. [63] [ additional citation(s) needed ]

    In April 2018 a number of Russian-language news sites (Baltnews, Zvezda, Sputnik, Komsomolskaya Pravda and Komprava among others) reported that Adolf Hitler had allegedly become more popular in Latvia than Harry Potter, referring to a Latvian online book trading platform ibook.lv, where Mein Kampf had appeared at the No. 1 position in "The Most Current Books in 7 Days" list. [64] [65] [66]

    In research done by Polygraph.info who called the claim "false", ibook.lv was only the 878th most popular website and 149th most popular shopping site in Latvia at the time, according to Alexa Internet. In addition to that, the website only had 4 copies on sale by individual users and no users wishing to purchase the book. [65] Owner of ibook.lv pointed out that the book list is not based on actual deals, but rather page views, of which 70% in the case of Mein Kampf had come from anonymous and unregistered users she believed could be fake users. [66] Ambassador of Latvia to the Russian Federation Māris Riekstiņš responded to the story by tweeting "everyone, who wishes to know what books are actually bought and read in Latvia, are advised to address the largest book stores @JanisRoze @valtersunrapa @zvaigzneabc". [64] The BBC also acknowledged the story was fake news, adding that in the last three years Mein Kampf had been requested for borrowing for only 139 times across all libraries in Latvia, in comparison with around 25,000 requests for books about Harry Potter. [66]

    Netherlands

    In the Netherlands Mein Kampf was not available for sale for years following World War II. [67] [68] Sale has been prohibited since a court ruling in the 1980s. 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. [69] 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. [70] [71] [72] On 13 April 2010, it was announced that Mein Kampf is outlawed on grounds of extremism promotion. [73]

    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. [74] The only translation changes came in the 1970 edition, but they were only linguistic, based on a new Swedish standard. [ citation needed ]

    Turkey

    Mein Kampf (Turkish: Kavgam) 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. İvo Molinas [tr] of Şalom stated this was a result of "what is happening in the Middle East, the Israeli-Palestinian problem and the war in Iraq." [75] 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". [76]

    United States

    In the United States, Mein Kampf can be found at many community libraries and can be bought, sold and traded in bookshops. [77] The U.S. government seized the copyright in September 1942 [78] 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 CFR 0.47 . More than 15,000 copies are sold a year. [77] 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. [79]

    Online availability

    In 1999, the Simon Wiesenthal Center documented that the book was available in Germany via major online booksellers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. After a public outcry, both companies agreed to stop those sales to addresses in Germany. [80] In March 2020 Amazon banned sales of new and second-hand copies of Mein Kampf, and several other Nazi publications, on its platform. [81] The book remains available on Barnes and Noble's website. [82] It is also available in various languages, including German, at the Internet Archive. [83] One of the first complete English translations was published by James Vincent Murphy in 1939. [84] The Murphy translation of the book is freely available on Project Gutenberg Australia. [85]

    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, 1-929631-16-2).

    • 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 , a main influence of this book and crowd psychology
    • LTI – Lingua Tertii Imperii
    • The Myth of the Twentieth Century
    • Ukrainian military doctrine
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      of Mein Kampf by George Orwell, first published in March 1940 The Huffington Post, 22 April 2009 , BBC, 18 March 2005 , BBC, 5 June 2000 , BBC, 27 November 2009 , BBC, 10 December 2004
  • "Mein Kampf:" - Adolf Hitler's book, a Deutsche Welle television documentary covering the history of the book through contemporary media and interviews with experts and German citizens, narrated in English, 15 August 2019
  • Online versions of Mein Kampf

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