Adolf Hitler: Mein Kampf


Adolf Hitler (1889–1945) was leader of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (the “Nazis”) and head of the German state from 1933 through April 1945. In 1924, while serving a prison term for treason, Hitler dictated the first volume of Mein Kampf (“My Fight” or “My Struggle”), at once a memoir and political statement. On November 9, 1923, Hitler had attempted to overthrow the Bavarian government in the Beer Hall Putsch. The putsch failed, and Hitler was arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced to five years in prison. He served only about nine months at the fortress prison at Landsberg in southern Bavaria, where he was encouraged to write his memoirs. The result of Hitler's effort was his two-volume work Mein Kampf, a fanciful mixture of autobiography and rambling political philosophy. The first volume was published in 1925 and the second in 1926. By the end of World War II over ten million copies had been sold or distributed in Germany.

Hitler's beliefs are...

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Adolf Hitler (center) in a Munich garden café (Yale University Art Gallery)

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