Title: Mein Kampf
Author: Adolf Hitler
Challenges: Well-Educated Mind (Biographies)
Q. What do these three images have in common?
A. Me, reading Hitler.
Yes, while reading Mein Kampf there was a "face-plant" moment in the middle of the book; often times I put aside (avoided) reading to tend to urgent matters, like my nails; and sometimes I resorted to shorthand during my deliberate note taking, using key symbolic phrases such as, "Blah, blah, blah," to fill in redundant ideas.
Oh, it was not that terrible, but Mein Kampf was interminable and tedious, at times. Hitler is like one of those coworkers who talks relentlessly about nothing else except one issue. I know someone like that, and I thought I was reading about him. One issue only consumes and defines and energizes him. It is all he is. Well, that's Adolf Hitler.
Mein Kampf is on my Well- Educated Mind reading challenge, but I almost skipped it. Why would I want to read the biographical work of one of the most hated dictators? Why is Mein Kampf even available to read? Well, I did read it, and I think it should be read by some, especially those concerned with history and political science. At least for the first half of the book, I actually looked forward to reading it.
|Hitler as a courier, WWI|
* Hitler was a model racist. He believed pure German roots were the prime foundation for the human race. Germans were a physically strong people, and never should they mix with other groups of people, like the Jews, who would only make them weaker. The Aryan race, he claimed, was "self-sacrificing" and "the bearer of cultural development."* Hitler became racist against the Jews because he believed the Jews hated the German (Aryan) people and wanted to eliminate them from history. He despised their liberal and immoral ideology and thought they were contaminating the culture with their control of the press and the arts. He believed they encouraged conflicts between groups of people in order to divert attention away from themselves and their schemes. He claimed the Jews blamed the German military for its defeat in the War (WWI) and sought to incriminate Germany.
|Austrian postcard (1919) of Jew stabbing German soldier in the back|
* Hitler did not like democracy because it allowed men to be puppets or cowardly. He believed in one-man dictatorship. He said there was nothing noble about hiding behind majorities: "The majority can never replace the man." He said Western democracy is a forerunner to Marxism.
* He hated Marxism because he said the Jews were behind this ideology. Marxism, according to Hitler, was the Jews' attempt to exclude individual humanity and replace it with one giant mass of people.
* He was one of the founders of the National Socialist German Workers' party, which would later become the NAZI party, where he laid out the principles to bring nationalism back to the German people, make the German (Aryan) race strong and powerful, and eliminate the Jewish and Marxist stronghold in Germany and Austria. The main goal of the National Socialists was to "secure for the German people the land and soil to which they are entitled on this earth."
* Hitler laid out the concept for re-education, too. He argued that the current bourgeois education for "peace and order" would only continue to weaken the German people. Instead, the youth should be trained in physical education as much as knowledge.
Some of his other ideas:
1. Fight against prostitution
2. Encourage early marriage for healthy, resistant off-spring
3. Education must include mental and physical training
4. Cleanse theater, art, literature, cinema, press, and posters (propaganda) of our rotting world
|Rare color photo of Adolf Hitler|
Some other mentions:
* He said, "The great heroic struggle became my greatest inner experience." Is this the hero-complex syndrome?
* He believed freedom of the press was equal to poisoning and lying to the people.
* And this: "If the struggle for a philosophy is not lead by heroes prepared to make sacrifices, there will, in a short time, cease to be any warriors willing to die."
* And finally: "I wanted to enjoy the happiness of living and working in the place which some day would inevitably bring about the fulfillment of my most ardent and heartfelt wish: the union of my beloved homeland with the common fatherland, the German Reich."
Who should read Mein Kampf? Again, if you are a political science or history major, this is an important work in the grand scheme of the world. For anyone else, if you actually like listening to that frenzied coworker go on and on about the same topic, then knock yourself out.