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Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Volume 2 (1926)

In 1924, Hitler was serving a prison term of several months in connection with the failed "Beer Hall Putsch" of November 9, 1923. While in Landsberg prison in upper Bavaria, he formulated his political and ideological program under the working title Four and One-Half Years of Battle against Lies, Stupidity, and Cowardice. The first volume was published in July 1925 under the simplified title Mein Kampf. A second volume followed in 1926, and the combined one-volume "popular edition" first appeared in 1930. From 1936 on, every newly wedded couple in Nazi Germany received a copy of the one-volume edition from the registry office. By 1945, about ten million copies of the book had been sold worldwide. The royalties made Hitler a multimillionaire.

In his polemic, Hitler laid out the main tenets of his racist worldview and outlined his political goals. Two of his primary objectives were the racial "upbreeding" of the German people and the conquest of “living space” [Lebensraum] in Eastern Europe. Hitler explained that it was necessary to fight the "Jewish-Marxist world conspiracy" and to pursue a merciless racial war against the Soviet Union. The first volume was presented to the public as Hitler's autobiography, but Hitler had in fact fictionalized his biography in order to make it appear as though the political views expressed in the book were based on his own personal experience. The second volume (shown here) was supposed to be a history of the NSDAP, but in actuality it focused less on the history of the party than on the details of Hitler's political program. In chapters 13 and 14, Hitler explicitly stated his concrete foreign policy plans for conquering “living space” in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, and for forming an alliance with Italy and England that would allow him to wage a successful war against France.

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Adolf Hitler, <i>Mein Kampf</i>, Volume 2 (1926)

© Bildarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz