Mein Kampf: The Infamous Biographical Book
Meaning of Mein Kampf
Mein Kampf means ‘my struggle’ in the German tongue and it was authored by the infamous leader of the Third German Reich, Adolf Hitler (1889-1945).
Significance of Creation
Rumored to be one of the most mysterious men in political history, one begins to wonder why Hitler wrote Mein Kampf and how he intended to use it as justification for his actions.
The man responsible for the rise and fall of the Third Reich had intended to use his pen to create the legacy he wanted to be remembered by.
A Few Facts About Adolph Hitler’s Early Life, Childhood & Timeline
Hitler was born in an Austrian town, close to the German border in 1889. He was one of the few surviving siblings that his parents had borne and his father had a troubled relationship with him.
Hitler was initially an aspiring cartoonist, who upon rejection from art school joined the German military in the First World War.
His early life was modest and not even remotely spectacular. After the Treaty of Versailles, Hitler rose through the ranks of the German hierarchy as a symbol of German nationalism and gained immense popularity within a short span of time.
Why did Hitler Writer Mein Kampf?
The book was first published in 1925 and received a tumult of responses from both critics and supporters of the Nazi regime. Hitler wrote it during his time at Landsberg prison nursing the wounds of the German defeat.
Contrary to popular belief, Hitler was not an atheist but born into a Catholic family. He considered his treatment of Jews as a service to the Almighty. Hitler believed that Judaism was the underlying cause of Germany’s defeat in World War I and in Mein Kampf he tried to show the world that he foresaw Judaism and Communism as the evils of the future. This ideology led him into the creation of Mein Kampf as it is known today.
A Concise Summary of Mein Kampf
Enforcement of the Nuremburg Laws
The Nuremburg Laws were enforced in 1935 when Germany had begun recovering from the Great Depression of the 1930s. Hitler’s hatred of the Jewish race led him to deduce that racial predispositions would affect the way nations behaved. He believed in the preservation of the Aryan race and prohibited interracial marriages.
This is believed to be the reason why he chose the Swastika, an ancient Aryan symbol, as the emblem for the Nazi Party and the German Reich. Jews in the country were stripped of their citizenship and were ushered to leave the country. They were stripped of titles and properties and their interaction with non-Jewish Germans was severely limited.
Hitler wanted to create a harmonious and homogenous Aryan society and the Nuremburg Laws were the first stepping stones in the path towards his goal. Mein Kampf was the ideology behind the creation of this new legal stipulation.
The Jewish Holocaust
The darkest event of the twentieth century was the killing of an alleged six million Jews at the hands of the Nazi regime which is now known as the Jewish Holocaust.
This was the result of Mein Kampf’s declarations of ethnic cleansing as the only resort towards the reinstatement of German nationalism by declaring Judaism as an existential threat to the German state.
Hitler genuinely believed the Aryan race to be superior to other races and believed in its right to assume power and governance over other races. Aside from the millions of Jews that were massacred, people with disabilities were also deemed a burden on the state.
Hitler’s Foreboding for the Extinction of Aryan Race
Hitler had constantly feared in Mein Kampf that intermarriages would dilute and obliterate the Aryan race which he believed to be the foundation of human civilization. He believed that peace and civility could not be attained without the survival and the dominance of the Aryan race.
Revulsion Towards the Jewish Minority
He argued that the Jewish minority in Germany, which was in support of the opposing German Social Democrat Party, and held several influential positions within its hierarchy wanted to overcome the white man. He stated in Mein Kampf that the Jewish lobbying in the party would result in Jewish dominance of the German government.
Hitler saw this as a plotted conspiracy to subdue and govern the white Aryan race and hence declared the Jewish minority as a threat to the state and led to an eventual devolution of their rights of citizenship, freedom and human life.
Lebensraum for Germans
Lebensraum means ‘habitat’ or ‘living space’. Mein Kampf stressed upon the need for more living space for the expanding German populace as it required the state to be able to provide the growing masses with space to inhabit and resources to utilize.
This was one of the motivating reasons for the invasion of France, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Russia and other Slavic regions and the extermination of their inhabitants. Germany was able to expand its empire in multiple directions engulfing most of Central and Eastern Europe.
Although Hitler claimed Lebensraum for Germans to be a supplement for the German populace, critics also saw embedded in the ideology, Hitler’s ambitions for the German State attaining the status of a superpower and ultimately, global domination.
Reception and Criticism of Mein Kampf
Mein Kampf received widespread acclaim in the Nazi-era Germany as it was seen as the ideology behind Germany’s recovery from the defeat in World War I, the vociferously unfair treatment under the Treaty of Versailles and the hyperinflation during the Great Depression of the 1930s.
However, other Western powers such as Great Britain, France and the United States viewed it with severe contempt as it showed Hitler’s thirst for world domination and his urge for the expansion of the German Reich. They showed great concern over the underlying motives and pondered over why Hitler wrote Mein Kampf.
Even Hitler’s strategic ally and counterpart in Italy; Benito Mussolini, was critical of Mein Kampf’s content and considered it to be nothing more than a vague collection of rhetoric and contorted viewpoints that Hitler had so devoutly believed in. Several argued that it was not Hitler himself who wrote Mein Kampf and that his secretary, Rudolf Hess along with other Nazi officials, had coalesced to form a singular doctrine of state ideology.
Regardless of the stir that the text created and the horrors that it ultimately triggered, the book remains as a piece of history in the twentieth century partially as a reminder of one of the greatest tragedies in recent history and as a legacy of a man whose dark personality still leaves modern scholars’ intelligence in disarray.
Why did Hitler write Mein Kampf? The answer is obvious and concealed simultaneously yet its underlying intentions still cast shrouds of mystery over historians and modern-day scholastics.
Famous Quotes from Mein Kampf
The great masses of the people will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one.
Was there any form of filth or profligacy, particularly in cultural life, without at least one Jew involved in it? If you cut even cautiously into such an abscess, you found, like a maggot in a rotting body, often dazzled by the sudden light – a kike!
There must be no majority decisions, but only responsible persons, and the word ‘council’ must be restored to its original meaning. Surely every man will have advisers by his side, but the decision will be made by one man.
The man and the movement seemed ‘reactionary’ in my eyes.
My common sense of justice, however, forced me to change this judgment in proportion as I had occasion to become acquainted with the man and his work; and slowly my fair judgment turned to unconcealed admiration.
Today, more than ever, I regard this man as the greatest German mayor of all times.
-Adolf Hitler speaking about Dr. Karl Lueger (Mein Kampf)