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Archive: Other Books > Mein Kampf - Adolf Hitler - 2 Stars

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Jason Oliver | 2105 comments This book was....interesting.

First, Hitler was self aggrandizing, hypocritical, delusional, and angry. This, combined with what he later did, mass genocide, this book deserves at least a 2 star rating. But the book is also long and boring, Mussolini describing it as "a boring tome that I have never been able to read"

Hitler describes himself as originally as a liberal and tolerant. When he first encountered the antisemitic press, he says, he dismissed it as unworthy of serious consideration. But eventually, he adopted the anti-Semitic views, viewing the Jews of trying to obtain world domination and the German parliament and social democrats were working for Jewish interests.

His idea for war was 2 part. He believed "the struggle" is one aspect that made man excel and superior. He believed in a constant state of war and struggle. He also conveys an idea similar to Manifest Destiny. The Aryans are the superior race, they need more land to increase their population and it is unfair and wrong for lesser races to have more land.

These are the things I feel should be taught in school along with WWII. He have first hand evidence of how and what it means to hate, to believe your argument is the only intelligent argument, and not to be able to allow other ideas to exist. How a young man could go from considering himself liberal and tolerant to wanting and later following through with trying to exterminate a whole race. This work is also evidence of the danger of nationalism, as almost every argument came back to what is real German and why they are superior.

I was also taken with his conviction. I have always wondered how much of this was truly beliefs and how much was him just finding someone to place the blame. He truly, beyond a doubt, believed in the rightness of everything he did. That is scary.

One hard part about reading this is, your first inclination is to dismiss everything Hitler says....I mean its Hitler. Hes crazy and tried to take over the world and kill everyone. But not everything he says is crazy or wrong. Hitler understood human nature, just missed the application of that knowledge. I will give him a credit to understanding how to gain support and control people, only he couldn't see his own faults and hypocrisy. Mein Kampf was released in 1925 and he outlines his political ideology and future plans for Germany. He was able to follow thee to a T as he assumed power later. His plan worked flawlessly (other than gaining Britain as an ally.

I also see a world climate that could foster and support a Hitler type character and ideas.


message 2: by Amy (new)

Amy | 9391 comments Very very interesting review! Well articulated. On a sidenote, it’s funny that you say it deserves a two star rating because of who he was and the destructive power of his ideas. I had a similar thought when I saw your rating on the general feed. I had the thought that you can’t exactly press the like button. Because who likes this guy or this book. I wish there was an I appreciate that you read it button and good for you for taking this on. But no such button exists.

I think your point about thinking about how someone can go from Tolerant and liberal, To exterminating 12 million people for all kinds of various physical and religious and ethnic differences, you are right it’s an important thing to understand psychologically. Because the Germans at the time responded to his ideas and voted for him. They thought they were building a stronger Germany. He was really all about make Germany great again! And everyone listened to him. It’s a very dangerous thing when you have a narcissist, I delusional, or a self absorbency, person and power to whom the people respond. And I’m not just talking about our current American political climate as a soft metaphor. Because clearly we’re not talking about concentration camps and extermination. But your point is a good one. This can happen and does have an all over the world. And how do we protect, prevent come and guard against such things and not just politically. But in our own lives. It’s a great question, and as I keep saying Jason… You really ask wonderful questions.

Much has been made of Hitler being half Jewish himself, Certainly he did not possess the Aryan qualities he so deeply espoused. In fact he was anything but. But calling him a self hating Jew doesn’t account for what he did to the disabled, the intellectually challenged, the gypsies, the homosexuals. He certainly had an ideal that even he didn’t fit. I find that psychologically interesting, and I’m not sure to what degree he referred to any of that inner struggle in the book. But I’ve always found that angle also worthy of consideration. Because we’re not just talking about politics. We’re talking about bullying, and how folks who are insecure or afraid of difference dominate the power over others. And that seemingly we let people do this and all kinds of small to large Ways. That too is worthy of our social consideration. I appreciate that you reviewed this book and brought in the social angle, because I do think that’s where it’s at. Why he was so dynamically and emphatically responded to? It’s a question we’re still asking. And could this happen again? Great review and great thoughts raised.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Hitler explains in “Mein Kampf” that he had no special feelings about Jews before he moved to Vienna, and that even then, initially, he thought favorably of them. He went from this thinking to “seeing the light” only after Germany’s loss in World War I, for which he held the Jews responsible.
During the last half of the 19th century, as the Jews’ increasing integrated into society and into the modern economy, it created quite a backlash. Anti-Semitism rose across the continent. When the Jews were kept apart in the ghetto, and limited to certain professions, they were accused of being “clannish,” and were hated for that. But when they emerged from the ghetto, and became prominent members of industry and finance, then becoming socially and intellectually prominent, there was a whole new set of reasons to hate them. It was during this time period that racial theorist gave rise to theories that there surely was a biological difference in them.
When imperial Germany was defeated in 1918, and Kaiser Wilhelm, was forced to abdicate, another popular theory that Germany had been “stabbed in the back” by the Jews took hold. From there more theories grew. Jews’ role in the socialist and Communist movements that led revolutions in both Germany and Russia. Jews’ prominence in international finance, which led to all kinds of dark theories, such as Jews’ dominate the worlds wealth. Interestingly, this theory is still quite popular. All of these theories about Jews’ lack of national loyalty, their control of the world’s finances, and what was considered their degenerate behaviors only fed into Hitler’s irrational thinking at the time.
In Hitler’s mind, all the groups that he saw as destroying Germany; Bolsheviks, socialists, social democrats, they all became identified with the Jews. His political theories blended with racial theories that imagined the Jews, along with other groups like the Slavs and Gypsies, as biologically inferior to Aryans.
However perverted and asinine his thinking was and absolutely outrageous his theories were, Hitler was supported at every level of German society by people who were more than ready to see their country return to the greatness they felt had been denied. For them it become easy to believe that it was the Jews who were responsible for that fall from grace. 
This sounds so familiar, does it not. In so many countries worldwide nationalism becomes something polluted, something it should not be. It is one thing to be proud of your heritage, your culture, even your religion. I am proud of who I am, where I come from but I am not better than another.
As Amy has said, now turn this to social construct and we see this thinking today. Bullying has always been, but now it’s almost become fashionable with social media. People hide behind a computer and spew hatred, which then feeds into an ever growing movement of intolerance. It has become this frenzied ideal and people begin not thinking for themselves, to step back and ask questions. I am sure there were many Germans asking these questions, but no one really stood up to stop what was happening. Imagine if enough had done this? Just like today, there are those who are standing up against bullying and intolerance but it will take many more voices to fight against hatred, intolerance, and ignorance.
This was a great review Jason and I agree that it such a long, boring book. I remember when I read it I couldn’t believe that so many could actually fall into the trap of this narcissist. But again, only look at the world today. It is good this brings conversation. We need more conversations like this to make the world a better place. I am sorry about the length of this response. I am quite passionate about this subject.:)


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Amy wrote: "Very very interesting review! Well articulated. On a sidenote, it’s funny that you say it deserves a two star rating because of who he was and the destructive power of his ideas. I had a similar th..."

I agree Amy. I smiled when I saw his 2 star rating. There should be another button to push other than like.


message 5: by Amy (new)

Amy | 9391 comments Rachel, that was a beautiful response. Keep your passion coming. I think you really taught us just so much. I really appreciated both of your insights.


message 6: by Kszr (new)

Kszr | 172 comments Wow - all three have amazingly well written and thoughtful comments. Well done to you all!


Tessa (FutureAuthor23) | 229 comments Thanks to all three of you for such interesting and insightful views on this. I was thoroughly entertained reading your comments.


Jason Oliver | 2105 comments Thank you Rachel for more detailed information. If I remember correctly, Hitler "last straw" against the Jews was when he learned of factions wanting to start a Jewish State. His delusion led him to claim all Jews secretly wanted that and to take over the world regardless of what they said and did.

Also, this is not the first time in history the Jews have been singled out for integrating in society and becoming prosperous. There was an did time when Jews could not hold political offices in England's history.

Amy, in your wonderful comments, you mentioned all these people following one man. In school we are kinda led to believe that Hitler created the anti-Semitic movement, but it was already there. (Even in the United States during WWII era) The people were desperate for things to change in Germany. A climate was created for someone like Hitler to gain a following and promence. We have to remember, there was only one Hitler. Though the rest were not killing and exterminating people before Hitler, they allowed an avenue. Not just politically but individually there is a climate of distrust between people with different views and nationalities. Others opinions are dismissed and trampled upon as being ignorant or subversive. It only takes 1 person to take advantage of the climate and ride those waves to prominence.


message 9: by Amy (new)

Amy | 9391 comments Jason, the trouble you refer to about the Jews being resented since the beginning of time, long before the era of Hitler and Germany is an astute one. For prosperity or inability to assimilate integrate enough. This has happened since before time began. Think Merchant of Venice. Think about being blamed erroneously for the death of Jesus. Think about Shushan and the time of the Maccabees. We were ousted from Spain, Greece, an easy target over time. You are correct that Hitler was by no means the first and he didn’t create antisemitism. He did however, ride the wave.


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