Mein Kampf, Chapter 11: Nation and Race.
Mein Kampf is a book of two volumes authored by Adolf Hitler. The first volume was written whilst dictated to Rudolph Hess and Emile Maurice in Landsberg prison where Hitler was sentenced to following the failure of an attempted coup d’état of the Bavarian government in 1924. Mein Kampf is significant amongst historiography as it is thought to be an insight into the mind of Adolf Hitler. This book is not only autobiographical but full of memoires and political ideologies, which have subsequently sparked debate as to whether this piece of primary historical evidence can be regarded as the blue-print for Hitler’s future ambitions. An intentionalist view by Historians’ such as Lucy Dawidowicz, argues that the Holocaust was the result of Hitler’s long term plan, whereas the functionalist perspective by Historians’ such as Christopher Browning is of the result of a competing agents within the Reich to answer the Jewish question. Chapter 11 of Mein Kampf: Nation and Race, shows to comprehend with the intentionalist interpretation that this did indeed set the foundation for Holocaust as a propaganda medium. Chapter 11 of Mein Kampf is a race rhetoric that advocates social-Darwinism in favour of the German Aryan race and even justifies war with the ‘racially lower’. This chapter refers to natural selection within humanity as the will of nature and of God. The word ‘Nature’ is emphasised being mentioned 20 times within the passage purveying it as a natural process. The mixing of genes with ‘lesser’ races are referred to as a sin against God, in which context Jews are included. Language used in this passage has been described as using metaphors to enforce racial prejudice, although evident is how the use of language has not only been used for easily digestible comparisons, but also as graphic and horrifying, such as ‘blood poisoning’ when describing breeding with a ‘weaker race’. Also described are the consequences of the integration of races and given examples of how this would be catastrophic for humanity. In regards to the book as a whole, anti-Semitism is consistent throughout Mein Kampf and is evident of Hitler’s hatred of the Jewish people, with quotes of ‘real’ Germans surviving in the war if a great number of Jews had been killed with poison gas. Mein Kampf was written at a time when Hitler was banned from public speaking. This indicates that the production of Mein Kamp was composed as a method in which Hitler could communicate with the public legitimately. Volume 2 of Mein Kamp is also said to be written in plain spoken language. This indicates it was written for all people to be able read, proving it as a propaganda tool. After Hitler’s Chancellorship in January 1933 Mein Kampf was eventually introduced into schools, placed on trains and presented to every bridal couple. The mass circulation of this book again proves only to show it as a propaganda medium. Anti-Semitism was not unique to Mein Kampf and was a keen topic of Hitler’s in many political statements given in meetings. Hitler exclaims in September 1919 that the Jewish people are a race and not a religious community, and how this race are corrupt and disliked by a large section of ‘our people’ through emotion. A year later he states that a German citizen can only be one of German blood. As head of the Nazi party Hitler placed Joseph Goebbels as the head of Nazi propaganda, who wrote in the anti-Semitic newspaper ‘Der Angriff’ from 1926. In here is written how Jews’ are destroying the German community and how they must be removed from the community or they will ever corrupt it. Hitler’s ‘last will and testament’ written hours before his suicide tells of a hatred for Jews and also blaming the Jews for the war. These sources prove that Mein Kampf was not just a unique rant of anti-Semitism, Hitler believed in this hatred of the Jews’ evident here as early as 1919, days after his first attendance at a DAP meeting. This...
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[ 1 ]. D.C Watt, Introduction to Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf (London: Hutchinson, 1984)
[ 2 ]
[ 3 ]. A quote from Mein Kamp but taken from: Daniel Goldhagen, Hitler’s Willing Executioners, (London: Abacus 1996) page86
[ 4 ]
[ 5 ]. D.C Watt, Introduction to Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf (London: Hutchinson, 1984)
[ 6 ]
[ 8 ]. “Der Jude,” Der Angriff. Aufsätze aus der Kampfzeit (Munich: Zentralverlag der NSDAP., 1935), pp. 322-324. Found at http://www.calvin.edu
[ 9 ]
[ 10 ]. A quote from ‘Mein Kampf’ but taken from Richard Overy, The Dictators, Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Russia, (London: Penguin, 2005), page 1.
[ 12 ]. “Der Führer,” Der Angriff. Aufsätze aus der Kampfzeit (Munich: Zentralverlag der NSDAP., 1935), pp. 214-216. Taken from: http://www.calvin.edu/
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