About Mein Kampf

Mein Kampf is an autobiographical book written by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, while serving time in a Bavarian Prison. Mein Kampf directly translates from German as “My Struggle,” in which Hitler articulated the central components of his political and social ideology, outlining his plans for the creation of a worldwide German Empire. Throughout the reading, Hitler uses “scientific” information to explain his bizarre racial theories, presenting his belief in the superior “Aryan race,” and his extreme anti-Semitism. Adolf Hitler was born in 1889 in Austria and, as a child, clashed frequently with his emotionally harsh father who did not approve of his interest of fine art as a career (Editors, Biography.com). After years of hardship following becoming orphaned, he relocated to Munich, and applied for the German Army at the outbreak of World War I. After the war, he returned to Munich and worked to become the male Dictator/Chancellor of Nazi Germany from 1934-1945. He initiated many fascist policies, leading to World War II, and the deaths of at least 11 million people, including the mass murder of 6 million Jews. Mein Kampf was written in 1923, in a Landsberg prison in which Hitler was serving for being convicted of treason (Networks, A+E). He strongly believed that the ‘Aryan’ people and Germany was destined to rule the world. He thought German’s should have enough ‘living space’ and only people of German or Aryan blood should live in Germany; he did not believe that Jews could be German (Explained, The Holocaust). He developed an idea known as the Holocaust. The Holocaust was the Nazi-lead persecution and murder of an estimated six million Jews. Hitler began the Holocaust due to his belief that Germans were superior to all races, but Jews were deemed inferior and were viewed as a threat. Concentration camps were created all across central and eastern Europe, and Jews were captured and sent there to be separated from their families, endure harsh punishment, and be killed. Hitler was a very influential leader, it is said that many of his followers believed in his theories merely because they were mesmerized by him. Mein Kampf was written as an explanation of Hitler’s obscene thoughts, and an excuse for his creation of the Holocaust. Adolf intended for the book to be read by the entire German population, to speak his ideas and theories. He calculated that an appeal to the Germans to make war on the Jews would be most likely to succeed if framed in scientific-sounding terms (Klinghoffer, David). Hitler’s thoughts were radical at best, but he gained a following and continued on with his plan to make Jews extinct. People should understand that the Holocaust and the reign of Hitler was not a mistake- it was the choices of a Dictator and his government to make discrimination legal and create prejudice and hatred within German people. Mein Kampf was created under the circumstance that Hitler was in Prison, serving time for ‘high treason.’ Angry and inspired, he thought to pass the time by writing his thoughts in a book. Hitler may have been influenced heavily by Henry Ford, who was a follow anti-Semite. Hitler has many copies of Ford’s books in German translation in his library. Another large influencer of Mein Kampf was the idea of Darwinism. Hitler used Darwinian terms throughout the entirety of the source. One of the most important things we learn from this source is that a radical minority group, not taken seriously, can rise to power and do serious harm to society. Seven years in to Hitler’s Nazi following, they held 2.6% of the German General Election vote, but just four short years later, they became the single biggest political party, holding 37% of the vote. Hitler was so biased for his superior ‘Aryan’ race, that it lead to the mass murder on 6 million innocent people. It is unfair that the historical perspective of other German leaders at this time, and even the Jewish perspective, is left out of this work. Hitler hardly leaves any loose ends in his writing; explaining his thoughts, the reasoning behind them, and what is to come. The only unanswered question made aware was exactly how he intended to go through with his plan. In conclusion, Mein Kampf is a very important work in history. It is important for all people to read or be taught this source to get a glimpse of the mind behind one of the most horrific events in the history of the world. There is no doubt that the Holocaust is still relevant in today’s society; there are many lessons to be taught not only from this work, but also from Hitler himself. Works Cited Networks, A+E. “Mein Kampf Is Published.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 2009, www.history.com/this-day-in-history/mein-kampf-is-published. Explained, The Holocaust. “Nazi Racial Ideas and Antisemitism.” Living Conditions and Sanitation – The Holocaust Explained: Designed for Schools, www.theholocaustexplained.org/anti-semitism/nazi-racial-ideas-and-anti-semitism/who-was-adolf-hitler/. Editors, Biography.com. “Adolf Hitler.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 21 May 2018, www.biography.com/people/adolf-hitler-9340144. Klinghoffer, David. “Opening up Mein Kampf.” Evolution News, 16 Apr. 2008, evolutionnews.org/2008/04/opening_up_mein_kampf/.

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