Mein Kampf can you still read it.

Discussion in 'Books, Films, TV, Radio' started by Deacs, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. tmac

    tmac Senior Member

    Hitler's verbosity even extended to the title of his book. He originally wanted to call it Viereinhalb Jahre (des Kampfes) gegen Lüge, Dummheit und Feigheit, meaning Four and a Half Years (of Struggle) Against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice. His publisher, realising such cumbersome gobbledegook would hardly attract readers, instead suggested Mein Kampf.
    Like others, I have tried to plough through the book, but it is for the most part turgid rubbish.
     
  2. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    In my pantheon of difficult books, it's easier going than The Silmarillion, but a tad harder than Lost Victories...

    Can't say I recommend it for style or content (bit of an understatement there), or any real insight into him really (disappointing if you think you'll see into Adolf's mind somewhat - 'hmmm, a shouty man' is not all that surprising) but it's sort of worth ploughing through if you're gonna look into the man, in combination with some Bullock or Kershaw.

    Wish I'd bought a complete 30/40s English language part-work of it we saw at an Antique Fair once.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Many electronic versions here:
    Internet Archive Search: mein kampf
     
  3. wowtank

    wowtank Very Senior Member

    I think there are members of the Hitler family that can if they wanted clam the royalties but choose not to.
     
  4. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    [YOUTUBE]qpgSYbrw09g[/YOUTUBE]
     
  5. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    In my pantheon of difficult books, it's easier going than The Silmarillion, but a tad harder than Lost Victories...


    I read* a library copy many, many years ago. To me when, compared to Herr Schnicklegruber, Manstein wrote like a Pulitzer Prize winner.

    *I exaggerate. What I did was "try" to read-it was horrendous. A poster above called it turgid. Actually turgid is a compliment.
     
  6. Heimbrent

    Heimbrent Well-Known Member

    Maybe it's a problem of the translation then?
    The original text isn't all that difficult to read, at least from the linguistic point of view.
     
  7. cameronlad

    cameronlad Member

    I would go along with Heimbrent - if more Europeans had read his book - we wouldn't have had the bother of getting rid of him and his pals over the years 1939 - 45....!


    Sorry, can't agree with Heimbrent or your well meant views, Tom. Here's why.

    "My Struggle" is a Freudian slip, almost a health warning. Beware not only what's inside the book, but also the inner madness of the man himself.
    Beyond that, reading "Mein Kampf" in the hope of gaining any real insight into Hitler's psyche is near impossible unless you are a shrink.

    It's a turgid mess of a book, doubly compounded by the fact that it is the ravings of a megalo-psychopath dictated to and written down by fellow lunatic, Rudolf Hess. Both were complete fantasists. But together they formulated a toxic blue print for a twisted pseudo-science cum political ideology - a kind of messianic opium. It hooked Goebbels and every other social malcontent, and, with enough lunatics to spread the message in the streets and beerkellars the book itself soon became a party reference manual rather than popular bedtime reading. It wasn't compulsorily issued like Chairman Mao's Red Book.

    Either way, the premise and promise offered by Hitler was bought into by a Germany eager and desperate enough to be rescued, not only from its post WW1 economic turmoil but also its many perceived causes, ie, Judaism, Allied reparations, Communism, et al).
     
  8. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Maybe it's a problem of the translation then?
    The original text isn't all that difficult to read, at least from the linguistic point of view.
    It may well be, mate.
    It sold well enough originally that maybe in it's original language it was a cut above the average political tract, but in English I'd definitely say it ain't much fun to get through.
     
  9. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    The original text isn't all that difficult to read, at least from the linguistic point of view.

    For you maybe, but I've never found any edition with enough armour piccies :D
     
    Heimbrent likes this.
  10. Vitesse

    Vitesse Senior Member

    It wasn't compulsorily issued like Chairman Mao's Red Book.
    Actually, it was - at least to some. All newly-married couples received a copy: not exactly my idea of honeymoon or bedtime reading!

    "Yust lie back and think of Der Führer, Liebchen ..."
     
  11. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    So should I ask for it for Christmas or not?
     
  12. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Maybe it's a problem of the translation then?
    The original text isn't all that difficult to read, at least from the linguistic point of view.


    Kate,

    Anja's father has an old copy that he aquired after the war, but it is in German Gothic type print, which I find hard to read, so gave up.
    I have never seen or read an english version, but from the comments made I believe that I have missed little.

    Regards
    Tom
     
    James S likes this.
  13. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    "Michael Moon's Book Emporium"


    Is that the one on Albert Square??? :lol:
     
  14. Heimbrent

    Heimbrent Well-Known Member

    Sorry, can't agree with Heimbrent or your well meant views, Tom. Here's why.

    "My Struggle" is a Freudian slip, almost a health warning. Beware not only what's inside the book, but also the inner madness of the man himself.
    Beyond that, reading "Mein Kampf" in the hope of gaining any real insight into Hitler's psyche is near impossible unless you are a shrink.

    It's a turgid mess of a book, doubly compounded by the fact that it is the ravings of a megalo-psychopath dictated to and written down by fellow lunatic, Rudolf Hess. Both were complete fantasists. But together they formulated a toxic blue print for a twisted pseudo-science cum political ideology - a kind of messianic opium. It hooked Goebbels and every other social malcontent, and, with enough lunatics to spread the message in the streets and beerkellars the book itself soon became a party reference manual rather than popular bedtime reading. It wasn't compulsorily issued like Chairman Mao's Red Book.

    Either way, the premise and promise offered by Hitler was bought into by a Germany eager and desperate enough to be rescued, not only from its post WW1 economic turmoil but also its many perceived causes, ie, Judaism, Allied reparations, Communism, et al).

    I didn't say I read it to get insight into Hitler's psyche - you're right about the book not helping one much with that.
    What I meant is that in it he wrote about seizing land in the East as well as getting rid of Jews and others which he considered inferior to the Germanic race - a view shared by many others. As people in the Third Reich were actually required to read the book (every household had to have one, if I'm not mistaken) neither the outbreak nor the goals of the war should have come as a surprise.

    Your view, Cameronlad, seems much influenced by your knowledge and certainly makes sense from an ex post view; but back then Mein Kampf didn't seem like such a pile of madness to most of its readers. Not because they were all lunatics (certainly not from the medical point of view) but because of the situation Germany was in or rather how people assessed the situation.
    It did stretch further than WW1 and Germany's defeat in 1918 by the way. Germany's rather quick industrialisation e.g. had a huge influence on many aspects that were later taken up by national socialism, all that blood&soil bollocks, the thing about vegetarianism, anti-vivisectionism, social Darwinism etc.

    Surely a lot of Mein Kampf is "twisted pseudo-science cum political ideology" as you call it; but messianic opium? Not really (unless I misinterpret that term). What he wrote on mass psychology for example has a lot of truth in it, and it's certainly not very flattering to those it addressed.

    *edit* Since I fought my way through the lecture for the sake of scientific research I took notes, i.e. I wrote down whatever seemed relevant to me (exact quotes). Should any of you be interested in them (German, but no Gothic print), send me a message.
     
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  15. gunbunnyB/3/75FA

    gunbunnyB/3/75FA Senior Member

    to be honest i did read a hardcover version of the bl**** thing. it took me a solid year, it just went on and on in a jumbled mess that took missteps and was full of crap. even tho i can sort of understand what the common german had to endure during that time,it still just does not make any sense.
     
  16. cameronlad

    cameronlad Member

    Heimbrent, I wasn’t referring to you in particular reading Mein Kampf to get an insight into Hitler’s psyche. Rather, I was making an observation (perhaps expressed hastily and therefore badly) that readers of MK today probably do so for that reason rather than merely wanting to analyse his political ideology.

    As this thread shows, there are many who are (still) curious or fascinated by this mass murderer and want or need to find answers. I’d hazard a guess and say most would admit to wanting to find the man behind his words and deeds.

    I admit I did when I first struggled through Mein Kampf as a student in the sixties. I had two reasons for reading it. One was my academic studies - political philosophy and psychology. Both held a fascination. The other was because I had kinsmen in Germany and Austria before and during WW2. One escaped from Germany in 1936, another from Austria in 1938. Another was in the resistance in hiding in Berlin throughout the war. Another was smuggled out of Austria with the British Ambassador in a secret service op. Several died in the camps irrespective of their actual religion. So I admit to having a personal view. But I agree that with the benefit of hindsight or some understanding of psychology it’s easy to think we know all there is to know.

    So my advice to prospective readers is not to fall into the trap of asking the obvious but wrong questions such as, what drove and possessed Hitler and why? Bottom line is, he’s dead. We’ll never really get to the bottom of his deranged mind now. A better way is to ask why Mein Kampf was written at all. It doesn’t make the book easier to read or understand, but it does help to understand it’s real purpose.

    My own view on that is that no matter how deranged, Hitler was astute. He read the post WW1 political situation well. He saw and engaged in the struggle between communism and failing liberal socialism. And given that he swapped political allegiances and botched so much along the way to his failed putsch and imprisonment, the experiences served to harden his own private obsessions as well as a growing conservative mind-set. The result was that he became more cunning, devious and patient in achieving his goals.

    He also understood the desires, fears and human weaknesses prevalent in Germany at the time. At this time he also jettisoned the communist ideology, seeing for himslef that Bolshevism offered nothing but some future, far away, never-obtainable Utopia. Instead, his own blueprint would serve two aims - offering Germany a relatively quick escape route from post WW1 turmoil to the promised land - a return to Camelot on the Rhine – racial superiority, the good life, respectability once more - and room to expand. And he could lead them to it!

    This was the new opium. Back to the future through a return to some distant, glorious (but entirely mythical) past. Prosperity and a messiah to boot! Addictive stuff and hard to resist!

    But, how to sell it to the German people! That was his problem. The book was key. Not only would it give him a platform to rant on without fear of interruption from hecklers, it might just put him right up there on an even footing with Marx’s ‘Das Kapital’ - and the journalistic pieces offered by “that donkey” Mussolini. It would give him all the things he craved; intellectual and political status, respectability, acceptance, adulation! Like all totalitarian leaders, Hitler craved adulation – and the need to be the nation’s heroic saviour. Mein Kampf was therefore the initial means to achieving his ends.

    But it took other misfits to drive it further; Rohm and then Himmler to spread fear and intimidation and silence dissent, Goebbels to distil the message into a mantra, and not forgetting the fancy costumes, red bunting and mass rallies by torchlight. By then all Hitler had to do was refine the rant, perfect the strutting posture in a mirror and deliver his performance as the soul of Germany personified. Mass hysteria, fear and apathy (within and abroad) did the rest.

    The world stood and watched, too! Even if it hadn’t read Mein Kampf, it read the newspapers, listened to the radio, watched the newsreel. Caught like a rabbit in the headlights, it knew what was coming – and did nothing.
     
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  17. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    cameronlad,

    An excellent post to read.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  18. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    Then again, it COULD have been that Germans found the book SO turgid that they went to hear the man speaking instead! :lol:
     
  19. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    When you listen to him speaking he does not "sound" unlike his book. :)
    (Sometimes it is not what you say it is how you say it)
    Hitler's speaking was only part of the show which was Hitler/ The Nazis , the theatre lights sounds, uniforms and stage managed visuals...a good show to watch and be drawn into.
    "look at Triumph of the Will" - the speeches were wisely edited and kept to a minimum.
     
  20. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Then again, it COULD have been that Germans found the book SO turgid that they went to hear the man speaking instead! :lol:
    Yes, but woe betide the house that didn't have a copy - an expensive edition preferably - on prominent display.

    No one read it, there was the Völkische Beobachter and Der Sturmer for that, but everyone had to had one.

    From which one might infer that Mein Kampf was like an ....*, everybody had one :D


    * pace Owen
     

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