HIST2125 Hitler's Germany

Hitler’s Germany
Lecture 3:
Hitler’s Mein Kampf
(My Struggle)
and Zweites Buch (Second Book)
24 September 2012
Mein Kampf Sales
• Vol. 1: Eine Abrechnung A Reckoning (1925: 23,000 copies by
• Vol. 2: Die Nationalsozialistische Bewegung
The Nazi Movement (1926: 13,000 copies by 1929)
• One volume Volksausgabe People’s edition
80,000 copies by 1932; over 1,5 million at end of 1933)
= Total sales ca. 8-9 million until 1945
= Chinese version (1936), English (1939) + 15
other languages
Hitler’s Zweites Buch (Second Book)
• Discovered in 1958 & published in 1961 by US
historian G.L. Weinberg: English translation
Hitler’s Secret Book (1961)
► Shorter & more lucid statement of Hitler’s views on
foreign policy principles & problems
= Demonstrates Hitler’s envy & admiration for USA
= Not finished & published during Hitler’s lifetime due
to his comparative contempt for writing
Mein Kampf Structure
• Autobiographical sections (1889-1923/4)
• Reflections & comments on past & current
political circumstances in Germany
• Crude, turgid, disorganised structure
= Mixture of autobiography, philosophy book,
blueprint of Hitler’s program
Mein Kampf: Basic ideas
• Continuous contest between creative Aryans and
destructive Jews
• State responsible for preserving Aryan race
= Program for state of German people
• Step 1: Internal regeneration by education, social
discipline, authority, elimination of ‘enemies’
• Step 2: External policy to regain power position &
creating Lebensraum ‘Living Space’
Mein Kampf: Racial Groups
• Kulturbegründer Creators of culture: Aryans:
Germanic (English, Dutch, Danish, etc.) + North
American people
• Kulturträger Bearers of culture: Orientals /
• Kulturzerstörer Destroyers of culture: Jews,
‘Gypsies’, Africans, etc.
= Governed by ‘iron logic of nature’
Mein Kampf: The Jews
Kulturzerstörer Destroyers of culture
Seen in sharp contrast to creative Aryans
Possess only ‘borrowed’ culture from others
Regarded as strongly egoistic: Parasites
Judaism not judged as only religion but as race
Charged of seeking to destroy Germans & Germany
Made responsible for modern evils: Capitalism + Marxism
► Darwin’s biological theory of struggle (‘survival of the fittest’)
► Hitler’s race theory of struggle between Aryans and Jews
= Social Darwinism
Mein Kampf: Summary
Introduces to Hitler’s minds & methods:
• Reveals Hitler’s Messiah (Saviour/Jesus) complex
• Reflects Hitler’s violence and non-civilised thinking
• Shows Hitler’s highly personal world view
= Hitler fighting his persecutors
= Hitler magnifying his person
= Hitler creating a dream-world with himself as most
important figure