Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler:

According to Koschorke, Mein Kampf is the “first dictatorial book of the twentieth century [which] has had an impact far outlasting the regime it helped found”.[1] In fact, Mein Kampf is still quite popular today around the globe, although probably not for the same reasons it gained popularity upon its initial publication in 1925, along with its second volume a year later. However, its republication had been banned in Germany until 2015, due to the infectious nature of the ideology contained within its pages.[2]

However, Koschorke also claims that academic readers who have perused the pages of Mein Kampf unanimously claim it to be “boring, unoriginal, bloviating, stylistically mangled, driveling to the point of embarrassment, and altogether laughable”.[3] Given that this assessment of the text was present even in the 1920s, the mystery of its popularity must be found outside of the context of the writing itself.

Early in the first volume, Hitler embellishes his relationship with the Social Democrats so as even to have fictionalized certain passages. The point of doing so was to effectively position National Socialist ideology into a sensible and logical reaction to the life he had purportedly led and the injustices of social democracy.[4] He then couples this with hate fantasies and breeds distrust regarding the press and other German institutions.[5]

The NSDAP was Hitler’s direct audience, and he hoped that both his nationalist and socialist prerogatives would reach their eyes and ears, despite their conflicting natures.[6] In short, the work was a “mixture of populist communitarian pathos and authoritarian disdain for the masses” which combined to appeal to as many individual and collective ideologies as possible.[7]


Cover of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf

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Hitler’s program “offered a synthesis supposed to lead to national unity, a semantic solution whose double trademark of ‘German’ and ‘Worker’ connected the nationalism of the right with the internationalism of the left, [it] stole the political contents of all other parties.”[8]



Other Important Historical Documents:



[1] Albrecht Koschorke,  “Ideology in Execution: On Hitler’s Mein Kampf.”
New German Critique 42, no. 124 (February 2015): 3.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid, 5.

[6] Ibid, 6.

[7] Ibid, 7.

[8] Hannah Arendt, qtd. in Albrecht Koschorke,  “Ideology in Execution: On
Hitler’s Mein Kampf.” New German Critique 42, no. 124 (February 2015): 7.

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