Well this is it, the first words of Hitler’s that I will read, even if they have been translated. Translation must be such a hard job, because each language is unique and it is hard to convey the same emotion and meaning over into a different language, I applaud translators, of any kind!
I guess this is where the idea of this book being about Hitler’s ‘struggle’ because on April 1, 1924, he entered Landsberg am Lech, to serve out his prison term, which he describes as a ‘fortress’. Then, after many years of work, he was able to to complete a task that ‘many had told him to do’ and that he felt that he was ‘worthy’ to undertake. Already I find his style annoying, and slightly confusing, hopefully it doesn’t continue or I get used to it. Fast. So for Hitler he decided to publish (in two volumes) the ‘aims of our movement’ and to ‘draw a picture of its development’. To be honest I don’t think he wrote that, it sounds to descriptive, maybe that is my bias coming into play.
In addition to the ‘aims of our movement’ he has included ‘an account of my own development’, but only as much as is necessary to understand the flow of the text. Also his personal ‘history’ is included to ‘destroy the foul legends about my person dished up in the Jewish press’. Of course we have gone less than three paragraphs and he has already hated on the Jews. It would be interesting to count the number of racial and anti-Semitic slurs he puts in this text, I’d hazard a guess that it would run into the hundreds.
This book is not for strangers, but for those who believe in his cause and follow it with their heart, and their intelligence is ‘eager’. And he tells us that men are not won over by written words but the spoken, and every great movement has been lead by orators (good public speakers) and not to great writers (which I doubt, or at least he put this in without reading any evidence). The written word can lack emotion but in the hands of a great writer, it can do a lot and can move many people to tears, joy and anger. But it is no doubt that hearing someone speak with emotion and passion, can evoke a stronger and faster emotion.But Hitler decided to write something down regardless of this, because his message should be available in every form, forever (which is standing the test of time).
At the moment it sounds like he is still in his prison, while he is writing this because it includes the name at the end of this first page, but I doubt that he really did this during his imprisonment.
There then is something that I am slightly confused about probably because it was a long time ago and I don’t know the goings on in the 20s, but on November 9, 1923, at twelve-thirty, a number of men died in the pursuit of their faith and ‘resurrection of their people’. I’m not going to include the list of people, but there is a list of 16 people (I don’t want to say that they didn’t exist because that would be inconsiderate if they do exist, but with Hitler you can never know, but it is quite likely that these people died for their cause, in what way, I am not sure).
Apparently the national authorities ‘denied these dead heroes a common grave’. Did he want a memorial for all of these people? Because I don’t know what happened then, but a quick search reveals that it is referring to the ‘Beer Hall Putsch’ which was a failed attempt for Hitler to gain power, so no wonder the national government refused to commemorate them. So if you would like to learn more, it is easily found on Wikipedia or other more ‘formal and reliable’ websites as well. So yes, they did exist, but it is still a poor way to gain sympathy by including them in your book, even if it is to commemorate them and mark them as heroes. I don’t think anything Hitler did was not planned and well thought out.
The first volume is dedicated to the 16 men who lost their lives because Hitler wanted power. The first (?) of millions. And again it is signed that he wrote this whilst still in prison, which is ‘apparently’ true, but I find hard to believe.
Also you can find Mein Kampf online at various sites including:
Unfortunately none of these are the Ralph Manheim translation, but you get the general idea of what is going on, more or less, so if you’d like to read along but can’t find a copy, there are many available online! Chapter One, Volume One, will be online tomorrow!