What is Mein Kampf?

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kipling2448 | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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"Mein Kampf" ("My Struggle") was a lengthy book written by Adolf Hitler while imprisoned for a failed attempt to overthrow the government in 1923.  The final book was initially issued in two volumes, but is routinely published as a one-volume book.

"Mein Kampf" is one of the most controversial books ever published.  In it, Hitler laid out his arguments for the destruction of the Jewish people.  It is filled with his anti-Semitic tirades about how Jews had caused the First World War [not called that at the time, of course], controlled world finances, and were an insidious presence inside Germany that had to be eradicated.  While Hitler's rhetorical targets went beyond Jews to include the German government and communists, the emphasis on eliminating Jews proved a prescient if overlooked notification of his intentions were he to come to power.  

Inside Germany, the book became very popular and many copies continued to be sold after Hitler's election to the chancellorship.  As popular as it was inside Germany, its significance was sadly overlooked outside German borders.  Winston Churchill, observing Hitler's rise from across the English Channel and contemplating his political future found "Mein Kampf" an important and disturbing manifesto.  Churchill's own political fortunes would improve due in no small part to the unwillingness of most other politicians to take seriously the political agenda set out in Hitler's book.

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