Mein Kampf: Contents

Figure 1.--

The book that emerged from Hitler's dictation and Hess' editing was far more than an autobiography. It was an amazing hodgepodge of ideas. Mein Kampf was a confusing mixture of autobiography, history, political philosophy, biological eugenics, and race hatred. He also touches on the techniques of propaganda that would be effectively developed by Dr. Josef Goebbels. Hitler in the book declared with considerable candor precisely what he planned to do when he took power. His hatred for the Jews is a constant ferature. He writes at length about Lebensraum and the importance of the East. World War II historians some time discount the importance of the East from the very beginning in Hitler's strategic thinking, but it is clearly stated in Mein Kampf. The East of course was not unoccupied. And What Hitler does not explain is just what he planned to do with the people already living there.


Hitler did not have an impressive resume. Certainly not one that would have justfied an autobiography. Thus many of the the autobiographical details in the book are often inaccurate and misleading. The purpose of the auto biographical section seems to be to create a positive image for the would be leader. Thus while Hitler was leading a desolute life in Vienna before the War, he tells the reader thst he was digilently working as a manual laborer. This was designed to build an image as a committed man of the people. He also presents himself as a war hero. Curiously his text in Mein Kampf is used by many biographers and histiorians uncritically when discussing his war record. He makes much of his World War I experiences and Komrads. Curiously none of these susposed Komrads became important in the developing NAZI Party. He describes recovering from a British chlorine gas attack in a hospital. The experience with gas and the fact that it had been invented by a Jew may be important factors explaining why he decided not to use chemican weapons in World War II.


Strangely Mein Kampf includes an insightful tratise on propaganda, not the kind of thing normally included in a politicians political manifesto. He also touches on the techniques of propaganda that would be effectively developed by Dr. Josef Goebbels.


Hitler gives considerable attention to race. He talks confusingly about Germany and the Aryan race which he uses interchangeably with Germans and insists that they are superority to all other countries/races. He maintains that the Aryan race was responsible for great advances in culture, art, and science. He sressed the importance of race purity and warned that the Aryan race in Germany was being diluted and weakened. He rails that the Aryan race was being threatened by intermarriage. He warned that if this continued, world civilization would inevitably decline. He writes, "On this planet of ours human culture and civilization are indissolubly bound up with the presence of the Aryan. If he should be exterminated or subjugated, then the dark shroud of a new barbarian era would enfold the earth." [Hitler] He maintained that the Aryan race had a "duty" to control the world. He did not suggest that this would be easy to accomplish. He used the British Empire as an example of what could be accomplished through organization and military power.


Hitler posed the Jews as the greatest danger to Germany and the Aryan race. Hitler had no regard for any religion, including Christianity. His hatred of Jews had nothing to do with religion which was the historic focus of European anti-Semitism. Hitler's hatred was a combination of biological, economic, and political ideas. He charged that the Jews were lazy and made no real cultural contrubution. He even charged that young Jews attempted to seduce Germanan girls to weaken the Aryan race. We wrote, "The Jewish youth lies in wait for hours on end spying on the unsuspicious German girl he plans to seduce. He wants to contaminate her blood and remove her from the bosom of her own people. The Jew hates the white race and wants to lower its cultural level so that the Jews might dominate." [Hitler] Hitler blaned the Jews for virtually every thing he despised (such as modern art, pornography, and prostitution). He also complained of Jewish control of important companies and newspapers.

November Crime

One of the major themes he would persue in his later rise to power was that German had been stabed in the back during World War I. He called this the November Crime. He explains that he was still in the hospital recoving from a chemical weapons attack when he learned that the German government had asked for an armistace. "Everything went black before my eyes; I tottered and groped my way back to the ward, threw myself on my bunk, and dug my burning head into my blanket and pillow. So it had all been in vain. In vain all the sacrifices and privations; in vain the hours in which, with mortal fear clutching at our hearts, we nevertheless did our duty; in vain the death of two million who died. Had they died for this? Did all this happen only so that a gang of wretched criminals could lay hands on the Fatherland. I knew that all was lost. Only fools, liars and criminals could hope for mercy from the enemy. In these nights hatred grew in me, hatred for those responsible for this deed. Miserable and degenerate criminals! The more I tried to achieve clarity on the monstrous events in this hour, the more the shame of indignation and disgrace burned my brow." [Hitler] Hitler charged that the War had not been lost on the battlefield, but by scheming Jewish politicians on the home front. He pointed to Jews and Socialists in the important Social Democratic Party. Hitler attacked the democratic Weimar Republic for permitting Jews to rise to such prominance. Accordung to Hitler, "a hundred blockheads do not equal one man in wisdom."


Hitler had only contempt for democracy and the ability pf the average person to participate in politics. He wrote, "The masses find it difficult to understand politics, their intelligence is small. Therefore all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points. The masses will only remember only the simplest ideas repeated a thousand times over. If I approach the masses with reasoned arguments, they will not understand me. In the mass meeting, their reasoning power is paralyzed. What I say is like an order given under hypnosis." [Hitler]


Another major them was the danger of the Blosheviks and the nexus between Jews and Communists. He charged that most Jews were Communists. He charged that Jews and Bolsheviks control of Russia posed a mortal danger to Germany and the rest of Europe.

Lebensraum in the East

Lebensraum was a central component of Hitler's argument in Mein Kampf. It was not, however, a term or idea that he coined. Germans had been seeking living space since the Middle Ages. Der Drang nach Osten, the Drive East, conflict with the Slavs dates from earlist phase of medival German history. At the time the term used was "Ostsiedlung" or "east colonization" was used . Der Drang nach Osten is of more recent origins. Germans in the Middle Ages moved east and set up communities throughout Central and Eastertn Europe. The term Lebensraum was a political term coined by Friedrich Ratzel (1901). It became commonly used in Germany for the acquisition of colonies, referring to the English and French imperial modelsn of founding colonies in Africa and Asia. Germany after unifgication (1871), began acquiring overseas colonies. The colonies were located in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. The Germans came late to empire building. And they never thought thst their hodge-podge collection of colonies reflected their country's rightful place in the world. Hitler from an early point began speaking of Germany’s need for Lebensraum (living space), but he was less interested in the colonies lost after World War I than land in the East. And it is the East and not the West that Hitler focuses on in Main Kampf He writes that that Germany and the Aryan race was constrained by all too limited Lebensraum (living space). He insists that German must seize the vast lands ofthe East for the Lebensraum Germany needed. Hitler writes, "The external security of a people in largely determined by the size of its territory." [Hitler] Hitler insisted that when he won power he would occupy Soviet lands in the East. Here there was both a economic and a racial dimensions. Living spave in the East was important for economic reasons as it provided both agricultural land and a crange of resources. Seizing the East would all destoy the threat from the Siviet Union which Hitler saw as a racial threat from Jews and Slavs. Thus seizing the EAst would not only provide Lebensraum, but also alieviate the Bolshevik/Jewish threat. And he insisted, "The Russian Empire in the East is ripe for collapse; and the end of the Jewish domination of Russia will also be the end of Russia as a state." [Hitler] He claimed that "the taking of 'the East' was nothing but the taking of a legitimate inheritance to which Germany had always been entitled." [Hitler]


Hittler strongly stated that Germany must never again fight a two-front war. Hitler argued for an alliance with Italy and Britain so Germany would have a free hand to act in the East. World War II historians some time discount the importance of the East from the very beginning in Hitler's strategic thinking, but it is clearly stated in Mein Kampf. The East of course was not unoccupied. And What Hitler does not explain is just what he planned to do with the people already living there.

Strategic planning

With the resources of the East, Germany could nerver again be effectively blockaded by the Royal Navy as it was in World War I. He saw an alliance with Britain as essential to prevebnting a future two front war.


Hitler, Adolf. Mein Kampf.


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Created: 12:00 AM 5/31/2011
Last updated: 12:01 AM 5/31/2011