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"Mein Kampf" was very nearly a flop and a big embarrassment for Hitler. What if ?


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#1 Karl-Otto Alberty

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 02:06 AM

Hitler’s famous book, the Bible of the Nazi party, is called “Mein Kampf” (My Struggle). Hitler originally wanted to call it, “Mein vier-ein-halb jahriger Kampf gegen Lugen, Dummheit, und Feigheit: eine Rechenschaft mit den Feinden der nationalsozialistichen Bewegung”. All of which means, “My Four and One-Half Year Struggle against Lies, Stupidity, and Cowardice: Settling Accounts with the Enemies of the National Socialist Movement”. He was talked out of that ridiculous title by Max Amann, who was his fellow inmate in Landsberg Prison in 1923. Amann suggested that Hitler change the title to “Mein Kampf”, and the rest is history. What would the Nazis have done without “Mein Kampf”, and how could they have survived with a surely to have been ridiculed leader?

#2 bigiceman

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 03:07 AM

Would it have mattered if Hitler was ridiculed for his book? I am not sure what real role his book played in the structure of his socialist party. Did others read the book and help him to achieve the things he wrote, or did he direct them? Would his book have been needed at all for the achievement of his success?

I am not sure if the book had caused Hitler ridicule if that would have made him a weaker leader inside Germany. He brought out a nationalistic fervor that may have only been strengthened by being made fun of from the outside. Now if the book would have made the Germans make fun of him, then he would have been ruined IMO.
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#3 Martin Bull

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 06:24 AM

Nobody read it anyway. It only became a 'best-seller' after Hitler achieved power, and then as more of a trophy to demonstrate party loyalty.

IMHO ( and many others ) it is virtually unreadable.
"Stand by to pull me out of the seat if I get hit" - Guy Gibson

#4 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 05:06 PM

Sadder yet, is that it is still a best seller today; if only in the Arab world.

#5 FramerT

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 05:19 PM

Who gets the proceeds from a book like this?
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#6 Col. Hessler

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 06:02 PM

Who ever prints the book probably receives the profit. Or you can just read it for free on the internet. http://www.hitler.or...ngs/Mein_Kampf/
But then again, who would want to?

#7 Karl-Otto Alberty

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 08:06 PM

One thing Hitler could not possibly survive was public ridicule. As it was, many Germans couldn't decide whether he was a Godsend, or a lunatic. It was a delicate balance and the scales could have tipped either way many times. But he got all the breaks. Even the fine weather which greeted Hitler's early adventures was dubbed "Hitler Wetter". Hitler himself believed that higher forces were guiding him, as did many other Germans. Ridicule, and only ridicule, could have toppled his hold over the German people.

#8 Karl-Otto Alberty

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 08:23 PM

FramerT brought up a very funny situaton. Where did all the profits from "Mein Kampf" go? Never one to be concerned about personal gain, Hitler's handlers were. So they arranged for all the money to go directly to Hitler. But when that wasn't enough, they cooked up a remarkably audacious scheme. Since Hitler's face was on all the postage stamps, he should be allowed to collect a royalty! I am not making this up. So that brought in mucho marks, and everyone went home happy. Some nerve, huh?

#9 TA152

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 02:31 AM

You have to admit what he lacked as a writter he made up for as a speaker. He was great at speechs and I don't even understand German. He knew how to say the right thing at the right time to fire up the crowd. I wonder if he wrote his own speechs who someone else ?
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#10 bigiceman

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 03:02 AM

That is a good question. His strength certainly did rest in his charisma with the masses. He may not have orchestrated all of the pagentry of the huge rallys that were held, but he played the crowd with his performances. I wonder what it is in our human nature that makes us succeptable to this kind of person?
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PEOPLE SLEEP PEACEABLY IN THEIR BEDS AT NIGHT ONLY BECAUSE ROUGH MEN STAND READY TO DO VIOLENCE ON THEIR BEHALF. GEORGE ORWELL

#11 TA152

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 03:14 AM

The Germans were hurt by the great depression more than others due to their WWI loss and Hitler told people he had the answers and was convinceing about it. He promised food and jobs when their were few and people listened and followed. By the time some found out he was the wrong person it was too late or too dangerous to stop him and the followers. The earlier leader was old and feeble, a WWI General, and did not take care of business. (forgot his name).
But I would like to know if Hitler had a speech writer or if he was just a natural. He reminds me of Castro making a speech.
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#12 Martin Bull

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 04:05 PM

Hitler dictated his speeches which were recorded by one or other of his secretaries. They have described how he would work himself into a frenzy while doing so. There are a number of descriptions in Ian Kershaw's superb biography.

His speeches were probably Hitler's greatest talent. Even Goebbels - no slouch himself ! - was impressed by one of Hitler's harangues at the Berlin Sportpalast ; describing it as a 'psychological masterpiece'....
"Stand by to pull me out of the seat if I get hit" - Guy Gibson

#13 Martin Bull

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 04:18 PM

Originally posted by FramerT:
Who gets the proceeds from a book like this?

The 'Mein Kampf' story is convoluted and interesting. In the first place, Hitler got the money - up to $1m a year when sales were at their peak.

On the outbreak of war, the UK publisher gave all profits from MK to the Red Cross. The US publisher had their monies seized by the US Government and redirected to the War Claims Fund.

Post-war, MK was banned from sale in Germany. The publisher in the UK quietly donated any profits to a German charity ( the German Welfare Council ) who were involved with rehabilitation of Holocaust survivors.

The US publisher, Houghton Mifflin, kept the profits - until word got out in 2000. Under considerable media pressure, HM now donate any MK profits to 3 different charities.

The UK publisher has now been taken over by German conglomerate Bertelsmann, who are involved in a tussle with the State of Bavaria over ownership of rights to MK.

Rather ironic, really.... :rolleyes:
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#14 Kai-Petri

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Posted 16 September 2005 - 06:13 PM

In the latter part of WW2 it was rumoured in Germany that Hitler had decided to take a leave and wrihe his new book named Mein Krampf (My Cramp )...

;)
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#15 bigiceman

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Posted 16 September 2005 - 10:12 PM

Originally posted by Kai-Petri:
In the latter part of WW2 it was rumoured in Germany that Hitler had decided to take a leave and wrihe his new book named Mein Krampf (My Cramp )...

;)

:D :D :D ROFLMFAO :D :D
PEOPLE SLEEP PEACEABLY IN THEIR BEDS AT NIGHT ONLY BECAUSE ROUGH MEN STAND READY TO DO VIOLENCE ON THEIR BEHALF. GEORGE ORWELL

#16 Hands

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 10:42 PM

Originally posted by Kai-Petri:
In the latter part of WW2 it was rumoured in Germany that Hitler had decided to take a leave and wrihe his new book named Mein Krampf (My Cramp )...

;)

i heard it was a best seller in the Soviet Union.
All proceeds went to Stalin.

#17 Kai-Petri

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 03:51 PM

In Adam Tooze´s Wages of Destruction

" Nazis were so cash-strapped by autumn 1928 that they were forced to call off their annual party rally. Sales of Mein Kampf had slumped so badly that Hitler´s publisher decided to hold back his "second book" for fear of spoiling the market."
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#18 Sloniksp

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 05:40 PM

Stalin had actually read the book several times I believe and was well aware of Hitler's intentions.

At the singning of the Ribbentrop pact it was noted as Stalin saying to Malotov " Im signing a non-agression pact with a nation who's ultimate goal is to destroy us "

makes one wonder why he did it ;)
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#19 Skipper

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 06:29 PM

Hitler would have come to power without this book. The book became famous because of his author not the contrary, so I don't think it would have changed history. In fact had more people read it, they could have guessed some of his evil intentions.

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#20 Roddoss72

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 01:29 AM

I bought a copy several years ago and i found it very hard to believe that people would buy into Hitlers personal dogma. But circumstances of the times allowed Germany and Hitler to prosper under the persecution complex. I have seen many film clips of Hitler giving his speeches and all i can say is that even after all these years and knowing what this monster did, i felt that i would march for him, fight for him, die for him and then when the film clip was over and the euphoria had gone i could not believe that he could stir so much emotion within me, and i don't know that much German.
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#21 Richard

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 09:58 AM

Nobody read it anyway. It only became a 'best-seller' after Hitler achieved power, and then as more of a trophy to demonstrate party loyalty.

IMHO ( and many others ) it is virtually unreadable.


Agreed.


I would advice anyone thinking about reading this book to forget unless you want to wast hundreds of hours on the ramblings of a mad man.

Too my embarrassment I did. :o

#22 Von Poop

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 10:38 AM

Too true Martin & Richard, no insight or interest in the entire turgid moan.

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#23 Za Rodinu

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 02:05 PM

How philistine can some people be... Are you aware by any chance aware of the excellent doorstop the Book makes?

Quousque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra...


#24 chocapic

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 02:15 PM

I have seen many film clips of Hitler giving his speeches and all i can say is that even after all these years and knowing what this monster did, i felt that i would march for him, fight for him, die for him and then when the film clip was over and the euphoria had gone i could not believe that he could stir so much emotion within me, and i don't know that much German.


Even at the time he gave his speeches, and before knowing what crimes he'll do, it was easy to see the emptiness of his imprecations.

It was also very easy at this same time, with some distance, to catch how ridiculous were the postures and decorum used by Hitler in his speeches, see the Dictator movie by Chaplin for example.

#25 Von Poop

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 04:01 PM

I think it's only hindsight that makes it easy Choca, from a contemporary German's perspective, and bearing in mind the instabilities & problems in that country, I think, like Roddoss, I'd have been taken in too.

Just reading Henry Mettelmann's 'Through hell for Hitler', it fits Roddoss's suggestion perfectly. Mettelmann's an obviously intelligent young man, very thoughtful about the rights and wrongs of the world, yet still willingly goes to fight for the Reich, happy to absorb the propaganda and spout the slogans. It takes a long period of horrible war to finally make him see through Goebbels's smokescreen.

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