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Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler (1941) PDF ebook

Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler  Complete and Unabridged FULLY ANNOTATED 

Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler 


This is an accurate translation of a book that is likely to remain the most important political tract of our time, and which is now for the first time available in complete form to the American reader. Until now the only version of Mein Kampf in English has been a condensation of the complete book, published in 1933, containing less than half of the total text. 

The Austrian and Czecho-Slovakian crises of last year, culminating for the moment in the pact of Munich, have awakened the American public as never before to the seriousness to the world and to themselves of the Nazi program, and consequently to the possible significance of every page of the book that can justly be regarded as the Nazi gospel. Here, then, in its entirety, for the American people to read and to judge for themselves, is the work which has sold in Germany by the millions, and which is probably the best-written evidence of the character, the mind, and the spirit of Adolf Hitler and his 'government.

 There are undoubtedly passages of great importance that now appear in English for the first time. For example, Chapter V of the condensed version left out the whole of what Hitler describes as his wartime reflections on propaganda and on methods for fighting Marxism. We have marked at various points in the text the important new material. Furthermore, any abridgment must necessarily fail, in proportion to the degree of its condensation, to give the full flavor of the author's mind. Even the repetitions have their significance in conveying a sense of the character behind them. Mein Kampf is, above all, a book of feeling.

All this is in no sense a condemnation of the abridgment prepared by E. T. S. Dugdale in England and published under the title My Battle, as in 1933 it seemed most unlikely that any large American public would care to read Mein Kampf as a whole, and for its time and purpose, it was undoubtedly adequate. Since then the whole book has assumed a more urgent character. The translation here offered is from the first German edition the two volumes respectively of 1925 and 1927, which are now quite difficult to obtain. Continuous reference has been made, however, to later editions, and any changes of significance have been noted. Such changes are not as extensive as popularly supposed. 

The reader must bear in mind that Hitler is no artist in literary expression, but a rough-and-ready political pamphleteer often indifferent to grammar and syntax alike. Departures from normal German form have not been re-produced, since no purpose would be served thereby, but where the demands of a perfectly smooth English style might seem to conflict with the exactness of meaning, the original German forms have been followed as literally as possible. We believe the translation cannot be successfully challenged. We turn to our decision to annotate the text. Mein Kampf is frequently a difficult book for the American reader to understand. Few Americans are, in the very nature of things, so aware of the German historical background that they can surmise without help what the author is discussing. What, for example, was meant by 'interest slavery "? 

And who was Leo Schlageter? In making annotations of this kind, we have tried to adhere to a middle course, assuming some familiarity with Nazi history, but leaving very recondite information for scholars. Notes of this kind are based almost exclusively on German sources, and we be- Ifeve we can vouch for their accuracy and objectivity Then, too, Mein Kampf is a propagandistic essay by a violent partisan. As such it often warps historical truth and sometimes ignores it completely. 

We have, therefore, felt it our duty to accompany the text with factual information which constitutes an extensive critique of the original. No American would like to assume responsibility for giving the public a text which, if not tested in the light of diligent inquiry, might convey the impression that Hitler was writing history rather than propaganda. It is more probable, however, that we shall have to face the opposite criticism that we have been too impartial, too objective, too little concerned with a rebuttal. To this, we should like to reply that truth, the accurate truth, is the only argument which in the long run prevails. One may talk a fact out of existence for a time, but it somehow survives. We are prepared to rest our case as editors on our belief in that ultimate triumph.

One point, in particular, may need emphasis. Large portions of Mein Kampf are devoted to the question of race as a substructure on which to erect an anti-Semitic policy. We have not let these passages go unchallenged, but we have also not felt it necessary to include a discussion of the race of our own invention. The greatest anthropologists of the twentieth century are agreed that 'race' is a practically meaningless word. All one can legitimately do, therefore, is to challenge statements of 'race history' as being figments of the imagination, and to point out that they are at the bottom more or less subtle ways of supporting still more absolute and violent forms of nationalism than even the nineteenth century knew. In addition, we have made specific objections to Hitler's anti-Semitic statements where they contradict known historical facts. 

A word now concerning the method adopted for the presentation of the notes. As a rule, we have put information relative to the sources and origins of National Socialism into the first volume, reserving for the second volume the history of Hitler's rise to power and of German achievement since that time. Departures from this method have been made when a given point seemed explainable in no other way. This arrangement will enable the reader, should he so desire, to read the notes independently of the text itself. Naturally, these notes are not designed to form a treatise on Hitlerism, but if they were read together with the books mentioned by name, they should provide a fairly adequate history of the Third Reich* Most of the notes are set in close proximity to the passage to which they refer. In a few instances, however, it seemed important to write at greater length, so that the material appears in the form of an appendix to the chapter in question. 

The separation between text and commentary is clearly indicated so that the reader will have no difficulty with that score. In conclusion, what should one expect to learn from Mein Kampf? Read with a clear eye, the book will show what manner of man Der Ftihrer is one who as a boy had nothing excepting a passionate belief that Germany must obtain a larger place in the sun with the help of the sword once wielded so efficiently by Prussian kings; who learned to define to his own satisfaction what groups wanted this kind of Germany, and what other groups were indifferent or opposed to that ideal; who after the War gathered round him all those who refused to concede that defeat necessarily meant the end of German expansion; and who, finally, with their help, got control of the government and then set out to mobilize the whole nation for a new advance.

EDITORS
JOHN CHAMBERLAIN
SIDNEY B. FAY
JOHN GUNTHER
CARLTON J. H. HAYES
GRAHAM HUTTON
ALVIN JOHNSON
WILLIAM L. LANGER
WALTER MILLIS
R. DE ROUSSY DE SALES
GEORGE N. SHUSTER

   
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