Translated into English by James Murphy (Buat yang suka baca biografi orang hebat yang salah jalan)
IN PLACING before the reader this unabridged translation of Adolf Hitler’s book,
MEIN KAMPF, I feel it my duty to call attention to certain historical facts which must
be borne in mind if the reader would form a fair judgment of what is written in this
The first volume of MEIN KAMPF was written while the author was imprisoned in a
Bavarian fortress. How did he get there and why? The answer to that question is
important, because the book deals with the events which brought the author into this
plight and because he wrote under the em otional stress caused by the historical
happenings of the time. It was the hour of Germany’s deepest humiliation, somewhat
parallel to that of a little over a century before, when Napoleon had dismembered the
old German Empire and French soldiers occupied almost the whole of Germany.
In the beginning of 1923 the French invaded Germany, occupied the Ruhr district and
seized several German towns in the Rhineland. This was a flagrant breach of
international law and was protested against by every section of British political opinion
at that time. The Germans could not effectively defend themselves, as they had been
already disarmed under the provisions of the Versailles Treaty. To make the situation
more fraught with disaster for Germany, and therefore more appalling in its prospect,
the French carried on an intensive propagan da for the separation of the Rhineland from
the German Republic and the establishment of an independent Rhenania. Money was
poured out lavishly to bribe agitators to carry on this work, and some of the most
insidious elements of the German population became active in the pay of the invader.
At the same time a vigorous movement was being carried on in Bavaria for the
secession of that country and the establishm ent of an independent Catholic monarchy
there, under vassalage to France, as Napoleon had done when he made Maximilian the
first King of Bavaria in 1805.
The separatist movement in the Rhineland went so far that some leading German
politicians came out in favour of it, suggesting that if the Rhineland were thus ceded it
might be possible for the German Republic to strike a bargain with the French in regard
to Reparations. But in Bavaria the movement went even farther. And it was more far-reaching in its implications; for, if an independent Catholic monarchy could be set up in
Bavaria, the next move would have been a union with Catholic German-Austria.
possibly under a Habsburg King. Thus a Catholic BLOC would have been created
which would extend from the Rhineland through Bavaria and Austria into the Danube
Valley and would have been at least under the moral and military, if not the full
political, hegemony of France. The dream seems fantastic now, but it was considered
quite a practical thing in those fantastic times. The effect of putting such a plan into
action would have meant the complete dismemberment of Germany; and that is what
French diplomacy aimed at. Of course such an aim no longer exists. And I should not
recall what must now seem “old, unhappy, far-off things” to the modern generation,
were it not that they were very near and actual at the time MEIN KAMPF was written
and were more unhappy then than we can even imagine now.
By the autumn of 1923 the separatist movement in Bavaria was on the point of
becoming an accomplished fact. General von Lossow, the Bavarian chief of the
REICHSWEHR no longer took orders from Berlin. The flag of the German Republic was
rarely to be seen. Finally, the Bavarian Prime Minister decided to proclaim an
independent Bavaria and its secession from the German Republic. This was to have
taken place on the eve of the Fifth Annive rsary of the establishment of the German
Republic (November 9th, 1918.)
Hitler staged a counter-stroke. For several days he had been mobilizing his storm
battalions in the neighbourhood of Munich, intending to make a national demonstration
and hoping that the REICHSWEHR would stand by him to prevent secession.
Ludendorff was with him. And he thought that the prestige of the great German
Commander in the World War would be sufficient to win the allegiance of the
A meeting had been announced to take place in the Bürgerbräu Keller on the night of
November 8th. The Bavarian patriotic societies were gathered there, and the Prime
Minister, Dr. von Kahr, started to read his official PRONUNCIAMENTO, which
practically amounted to a proclamation of Bavarian independence and secession from
the Republic. While von Kahr was speaking Hitler entered the hall, followed by
Ludendorff. And the meeting was broken up.
Next day the Nazi battalions took the street for the purpose of making a mass
demonstration in favour of national union. They marched in massed formation, led by
Hitler and Ludendorff. As they reached one of the central squares of the city the army
opened fire on them. Sixteen of the marchers were instantly killed, and two died of their
wounds in the local barracks of the REICHSWEHR. Several others were wounded also.
Hitler fell on the pavement and broke a collar-bone. Ludendorff marched straight up to
the soldiers who were firing from the barricade, but not a man dared draw a trigger on
his old Commander.
Hitler was arrested with several of his comrades and imprisoned in the fortress of
Landsberg on the River Lech. On February 26th, 1924, he was brought to trial before the
VOLKSGERICHT, or People’s Court in Munich. He was sentenced to detention in a
fortress for five years. With several companions, who had been also sentenced to
various periods of imprisonment, he returned to Landsberg am Lech and remained
there until the 20th of the following December, when he was released. In all he spent
about thirteen months in prison. It was during this period that he wrote the first volume
of MEIN KAMPF.
If we bear all this in mind we can account for the emotional stress under which MEIN
KAMPF was written. Hitler was naturally incensed against the Bavarian government
authorities, against the footling patriotic so cieties who were pawns in the French game,
though often unconsciously so, and of course against the French. That he should write
harshly of the French was only natural in the circumstances. At that time there was no
exaggeration whatsoever in calling France the implacable and mortal enemy of
Germany. Such language was being used by even the pacifists themselves, not only in
Germany but abroad. And even though the second volume of MEIN KAMPF was
written after Hitler’s release from prison and was published after the French had left the
Ruhr, the tramp of the invading armies still echoed in German ears, and the terrible
ravages that had been wrought in the industrial and financial life of Germany, as a
consequence of the French invasion, had plunged the country into a state of social and
economic chaos. In France itself the franc fell to fifty per cent of its previous value.
Indeed, the whole of Europe had been brought to the brink of ruin, following the
French invasion of the Ruhr and Rhineland.
But, as those things belong to the limbo of a dead past that nobody wishes to have
remembered now, it is often asked: Why doesn’t Hitler revise MEIN KAMPF? The
answer, as I think, which would immediately come into the mind of an impartial critic
is that MEIN KAMPF is an historical document which bears the imprint of its own time.
To revise it would involve taking it out of its historical context. Moreover Hitler has
declared that his acts and public statements constitute a partial revision of his book and
are to be taken as such. This refers especially to the statements in MEIN KAMPF
regarding France and those German kinsfolk that have not yet been incorporated in the
REICH. On behalf of Germany he has definitely acknowledged the German portion of
South Tyrol as permanently belonging to Italy and, in regard to France, he has again
and again declared that no grounds now exist for a conflict of political interests between
Germany and France and that Germany has no territorial claims against France. Finally,
I may note here that Hitler has also declared that, as he was only a political leader and
not yet a statesman in a position of official responsibility, when he wrote this book,
what he stated in MEIN KAMPF does not implicate him as Chancellor of the REICH.
I now come to some references in the text which are frequently recurring and which
may not always be clear to every reader. For instance, Hitler speaks indiscriminately of
the German REICH. Sometimes he means to refer to the first REICH, or Empire, and
sometimes to the German Empire as founded under William I in 1871. Incidentally the
regime which he inaugurated in 1933 is generally known as the THIRD REICH, though
this expression is not used in MEIN KAMPF. Hitler also speaks of the Austrian REICH
and the East Mark, without always explicit ly distinguishing between the Habsburg
Empire and Austria proper. If the reader will bear the following historical outline in
mind, he will understand the references as they occur.
The word REICH, which is a German form of the Latin word REGNUM, does not mean
Kingdom or Empire or Republic. It is a sort of basic word that may apply to any form of
Constitution. Perhaps our word, Realm, would be the best translation, though the word
Empire can be used when the REICH was actually an Empire. The forerunner of the
first German Empire was the Holy Roman Empire which Charlemagne founded in A.D.
800. Charlemagne was King of the Franks, a grou p of Germanic tribes that subsequently
became Romanized. In the tenth century Charlemagne’s Empire passed into German
hands when Otto I (936-973) became Emperor. As the Holy Roman Empire of the
German Nation, its formal appellation, it continued to exist under German Emperors
until Napoleon overran and dismembered Germany during the first decade of the last
century. On August 6th, 1806, the last Emperor, Francis II, formally resigned the
German crown. In the following October Napoleon entered Berlin in triumph, after the
Battle of Jena.
After the fall of Napoleon a movement set in for the reunion of the German states in one
Empire. But the first decisive step towards that end was the foundation of the Second
German Empire in 1871, after the Franco-Prussian War. This Empire, however, did not
include the German lands which remained under the Habsburg Crown. These were
known as German Austria. It was Bismarck’s dream to unite German Austria with the
German Empire; but it remained only a dream until Hitler turned it into a reality in
1938′. It is well to bear that point in mind, because this dream of reuniting all the
German states in one REICH has been a do minant feature of German patriotism and
statesmanship for over a century and has been one of Hitler’s ideals since his childhood.
In MEIN KAMPF Hitler often speaks of the East Mark. This East Mark–i.e. eastern
frontier land–was founded by Charlemagne as the eastern bulwark of the Empire. It
was inhabited principally by Germano-Celtic tribes called Bajuvari and stood for
centuries as the firm bulwark of Western Ch ristendom against invasion from the East,
especially against the Turks. Geographically it was almost identical with German
There are a few points more that I wish to mention in this introductory note. For
instance, I have let the word WELTANSCHAUUNG stand in its original form very
often. We have no one English word to convey the same meaning as the German word,
and it would have burdened the text too mu ch if I were to use a circumlocution each
time the word occurs. WELTANSCHAUUNG literally means “Outlook-on-the World”.
But as generally used in German this outlook on the world means a whole system of
ideas associated together in an organic unity–ideas of human life, human values,
cultural and religious ideas, politics, economics, etc., in fact a totalitarian view of human
existence. Thus Christianity could be called a WELTANSCHAUUNG, and
Mohammedanism could be called a WELTANSCHAUUNG, and Socialism could be
called a WELTANSCHAUUNG, especially as preached in Russia. National Socialism
claims definitely to be a WELTANSCHAUUNG.
Another word I have often left standing in the original is VÖLKISCH. The basic word
here is VOLK, which is sometimes translated as PEOPLE; but the German word, VOLK,
means the whole body of the PEOPLE without an y distinction of class or caste. It is a
primary word also that suggests what might be called the basic national stock. Now,
after the defeat in 1918, the downfall of the Monarchy and the destruction of the
aristocracy and the upper classes, the concept of DAS VOLK came into prominence as
the unifying co-efficient which would emb race the whole German people. Hence the
large number of VÖLKISCH societies that arose after the war and hence also the
National Socialist concept of unification which is expressed by the word
VOLKSGEMEINSCHAFT, or folk community. This is used in contradistinction to the
Socialist concept of the nation as being divided into classes. Hitler’s ideal is the
VÖLKISCHER STAAT, which I have translated as the People’s State.
Finally, I would point out that the term Social Democracy may be misleading in
English, as it has not a democratic connotation in our sense. It was the name given to
the Socialist Party in Germany. And that Party was purely Marxist; but it adopted the
name Social Democrat in order to appeal to the democratic sections of the German