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In 1922, just four years after the war to end all wars, an unknown Austrian then living in Bavaria planned a pamphlet to be called Settling Accounts. In it he intended to attack the ineffectiveness of the dominant political parties in Germany which were opposed to the new National Socialists (Nazis). In November 1923, Adolf Hitler was jailed for the abortive Munich Beer Hall putsch along with men willing and able to assist him with his writing. With the help of these collaborators, chief among them Rudolf Hess, the pamphlet became a book. Settling Accounts became Mein Kampf, an unparalleled example of muddled economics and history, appalling bigotry, and an intense self-glorification of Adolf Hitler as the true founder and builder of the National Socialist movement. It was written in hate and it contained a blueprint for violent bloodshed. When Mein Kampf was published in 1925, it was a failure. In 1926 a second volume appeared - it was no more successful than the first. People either laughed at it or ignored it. They were wrong to do so. As Hitler's power increased, pressure was put on all party members to buy the book. Gradually this pressure was extended to all elements of the German population. Soon Mein Kampf was even being passed out to newlywed couples as a gift. Ironically, and frighteningly, by the time Hitler came to power on January 30, 1933, what has been considered by many to be the most satanic book ever written was running neck and neck with the Bible at the top of the German bestseller lists. In his excellent introduction to this definitive American translation of Mein Kampf, Konrad Heiden writes: "For years Mein Kampf stood as proof of the blindness and complacency of the world. For in its pages Hitler announced -- long before he came to power -- a program of blood and terror in a self-revelation of such overwhelming frankness that few among its readers had the courage to believe it ... That such a man could go so far toward realizing his ambitions, and -- above all -- could find millions of willing tools and helpers; that is a phenomenon the world will ponder for centuries to come." We would be wrong in thinking that such a program, such a man, and such appalling consequences could not reappear in our world of the present. We cannot permit our selves the luxury of forgetting the tragedy of World War II or the man who, more than any other, fostered it. Mein Kampf must be read and constantly remembered as a specimen of evil demagoguery that people whenever men grow tired of thinking and acting for themselves. Mein Kampf is a blueprint for the age of chaos. It transcends in historical importance any other book of the present generation. In his translation Ralph Manheim has taken particular care to give an exact English equivalent of Hitler's highly individual, and often awkward style, including his occasional grammatical errors. We believe this book should stand as the complete, final, and definitive English version of Hitler's own story of his life, his political philosophy, and his thwarted plans for world domination. Translated by Ralph Manheim with an introduction by Konrad Heiden. A compilation of Hitler's most famous prison writings of 1923--the bible of National Socialism and the blueprint for the Third Reich.
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Causes of the Collapse 225 XI. Nation and Race 284 XII. The First Period of Development of the National Socialist German Workers' Party 330 VOLUME TWO The National Socialist Movement 1. Philosophy and Party 373 II. The State 386 III. Subjects and Citizens 438 IV. Personality and the Conception of the Folkish State 442 V. Philosophy and Organization 452 VI. The Struggle of the Early Period - the Significance of the Spoken Word 463 VII. The Struggle with the Red Front 480 VIII. The Strong Man Is Mightiest Alone 508 IX.
They alone are determined and tough enough to carry through the fight to its bloody end. And the Pan-German movement did not possess these broad masses; thus no course remained open but to go into parliament. It would be a mistake to believe that this decision was the result of long soul torments, or even meditations; no, no other idea entered their heads. Participation in this absurdity was only the sediment resulting from general, unclear conceptions regarding the significance and effect of such a participation in an institution which had in principle been recognized as false.
But when the first amazing and scarcely credible, but none the less true, tales of heroism arrived from the battlefields, the `wisest' of all monarchs recognized that the hour was not propitious and put the best possible face on a bad business. But the heroic struggle of these years had accomplished an even mightier miracle; for with the Habsburgs a change of position never arose from the urge of the innermost heart, but from the compulsion of circumstances. However, the German people of the old Ostmark were swept along by the Reich's frenzy of victory, and looked on with deep emotion as the dream of their fathers was resurrected to glorious reality.
And the great majority of the embattled army still thought the same. Only the reinforcements coming from home rapidly grew worse and worse, so that their arrival meant, not a reinforcement but a weakening of our fighting strength. Especially the young reinforcements were mostly worthless. It was often hard to believe that these were sons of the same nation which had once sent its youth out to the battle for Ypres. In August and September, the symptoms of disorganization increased more and more rapidly, although the effect of the enemy attack was not to be compared with the terror of our former defensive battles.
Now he walks the streets, hungry; often he pawns and sells his last possessions; his clothing becomes more and more wretched; and thus he sinks into external surroundings which, on top of his physical misfortune, also poison his soul. If he is evicted and if (as is so often the case) this occurs in winter, his misery is very great. At length he finds some sort of job again. But the old story is repeated. The same thing happens a second time, the third time perhaps it is even worse, and little by little he learns to bear the eternal insecurity with greater and greater indifference.