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This translation of the unexpurgated edition of "Mein Kampf"
was first published on March 21st, 1939
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Volume I: A RETROSPECT
1) In order to understand the reference here, and similar references in later
portions of Mein Kampf, the following must be borne in mind:
From 1792 to 1814 the French Revolutionary Armies overran Germany. In 1800
Bavaria shared in the Austrian defeat at Hohenlinden and the French occupied
Munich. In 1805 the Bavarian Elector was made King of Bavaria by Napoleon
and stipulated to back up Napoleon in all his wars with a force of 30,000
men. Thus Bavaria became the absolute vassal of the French. This was ‘The
Time of Germany’s Deepest Humiliation’, Which is referred to again and again
In 1806 a pamphlet entitled ‘Germany’s Deepest Humiliation’ was published
in South Germany. Amnng those who helped to circulate the pamphlet was the
Nürnberg bookseller, Johannes Philipp Palm. He was denounced to the
French by a Bavarian police agent. At his trial he refused to disclose the
name of the author. By Napoleon’s orders, he was shot at Braunau-on-the-Inn
on August 26th, 1806. A monument erected to him on the site of the execution
was one of the first public objects that made an impression on Hitler as
a little boy.
Leo Schlageter’s case was in many respects parallel to that of Johannes Palm.
Schlageter was a German theological student who volunteered for service in
1914. He became an artillery officer and won the Iron Cross of both classes.
When the French occupied the Ruhr in 1923 Schlageter helped to organize the
passive resistance on the German side. He and his companions blew up a railway
bridge for the purpose of making the transport of coal to France more difficult.
Those who took part in the affair were denounced to the French by a German
informer. Schlageter took the whole responsibility on his own shoulders and
was condemned to death, his companions being sentenced to various terms of
imprisonment and penal servitude by the French Court. Schlageter refused
to disclose the identity of those who issued the order to blow up the railway
bridge and he would not plead for mercy before a French Court. He was shot
by a French firing-squad on May 26th, 1923. Severing was at that time German
Minister of the Interior. It is said that representations were made, to him
on Schlageter’s behalf and that he refused to interfere.
Schlageter has become the chief martyr of the German resistancc to the French
occupation of the Ruhr and also one of the great heroes of the National Socialist
Movement. He had joined the Movement at a very early stage, his card of
membership bearing the number 61.
2) Non-classical secondary school. The Lyceum and Gymnasium were classical
or semiclassical secondary schools.
3) See Translator’s Introduction.
4) When Francis II had laid down his title as Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire
of the German Nation, which he did at the command of Napoleon, the Crown
and Mace, as the Imperial Insignia, were kept in Vienna. After the German
Empire was refounded, in 1871, under William I, there were many demands to
have the Insignia transferred to Berlin. But these went unheeded. Hitler
had them brought to Germany after the Austrian Anschluss and displayed at
Nuremberg during the Party Congress in September 1938.
5) The Phaecians were a legendary people, mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey. They
were supposed to live on some unknown island in the Eastern Mediterranean,
sometimes suggested to be Corcyra, the modern Corfu. They loved good living
more than work, and so the name Phaecian has come to be a synonym for parasite.
6) Spottgeburt von Dreck und Feuer. This is the epithet that Faust
hurls at Mephistopheles as the latter intrudes on the conversation between
Faust and Martha in the garden: Mephistopheles: Thou, full of sensual,
super-sensual desire, A girl by the nose is leading thee. Faust: Abortion,
thou of filth and fire.
7) Herodotus (Book VII, 213218) tells the story of how a Greek traitor,
Ephialtes, helped the Persian invaders at the Battle of Thermopylae (480
B.C.) When the Persian King, Xerxes, had begun to despair of being able to
break through the Greek defence, Ephialtes came to him and, on being promised
a definite payment, told the King of a pathway over the shoulder of the mountain
to the Greek end of the Pass. The bargain being clinched, Ephialtes led a
detachment of the Persian troops under General Hydarnes over the mountain
pathway. Thus taken in the rear, the Greek defenders, under Leonidas, King
of Sparta, had to fight in two opposite directions within the narrow pass.
Terrible slaughter ensued and Leonidas fell in the thick of the fighting.
The bravery of Leonidas and the treason of Ephialtes impressed Hitler, as
it does almost every schoolboy. The incident is referred to again in Mein
Kampf (Chap. VIII, Vol. I), where Hitler compares the German troops that
fell in France and Flanders to the Greeks at Thermopylae, the treachery of
Ephialtes being suggested as the prototype of the defeatist policy of the
German politicians towards the end of the Great War.
8) German Austria was the East Mark on the South and East Prussia was the
East Mark on the North.
9) Carlyle explains the epithet thus: "First then, let no one from the title
Gehoernte (Horned, Behorned), fancy that our brave Siegfried, who was the
loveliest as well as the bravest of men, was actually cornuted, and had horns
on his brow, though like Michael Angelo’s Moses; or even that his skin, to
which the epithet Behorned refers, was hard like a crocodile’s, and not softer
than the softest shamey, for the truth is, his Hornedness means only an
Invulnerability, like that of Achilles…"
10) Lines quoted from the Song of the Curassiers in Schiller’s Wallenstein.
11) The Second Infantry Bavarian Regiment, in which Hitler served as a volunteer.
12) Schwabing is the artistic quarter in Munich where artists have their
studios and litterateurs, especially of the Bohemian class, foregather.
13) Here again we have the defenders of Thermopylæ recalled as the
prototype of German valour in the Great War. Hitler’s quotation is a German
variant of the couplet inscribed on the monument erected at Thermopylæ
to the memory of Leonidas and his Spartan soldiers who fell defending the
Pass. As given by Herodotus, who claims that he saw the inscription himself,
the original text may be literally translated thus:
Go, tell the Spartans, thou who passeth by,
That here, obedient to their laws, we lie.
14)Swedish Chancellor who took over the reins of Government after the death
of Gustavus Adolphus
15) When Mephistopheles first appears to Faust, in the latter’s study, Faust
inquires: "What is thy name?" To which Mephistopheles replies: "A part of
the Power which always wills the Bad and always works the Good." And when
Faust asks him what is meant by this riddle and why he should call himself
‘a part,’ the gist of Mephistopheles’ reply is that he is the Spirit of Negation
and exists through opposition to the positive Truth and Order and Beauty
which proceed from the never-ending creative energy of the Deity. In the
Prologue to Faust the Lord declares that man’s active nature would grow sluggish
in working the good and that therefore he has to be aroused by the Spirit
of Opposition. This Spirit wills the Bad, but of itself it can do nothing
positive, and by its opposition always works the opposite of what it wills.
16) The last and most famous of the medieval alchemists. He was born at Basle
about the year 1490 and died at Salzburg in 1541. He taught that all metals
could be transmuted through the action of one primary element common to them
all. This element he called Alcahest. If it could be found it would prove
to be at once the philosopher’s stone, the universal medicine and the
irresistible solvent. There are many aspects of his teaching which are now
looked upon as by no means so fantastic as they were considered in his own
17) The Battle of Leipzig (1813), where the Germans inflicted an overwhelming
defeat on Napoleon, was the decisive event which put an end to the French
occupation of Germany.
The occupation had lasted about twenty years. After the Great War, and the
partial occupation of Germany once again by French forces, the Germans used
to celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Leipzig as a symbol of their
18) The flag of the German Empire, founded in 1871, was Black-White-Red.
This was discarded in 1918 and Black-Red-Gold was chosen as the flag of the
German Republic founded at Weimar in 1919. The flag designed by Hitler
red with a white disc in the centre, bearing the black swastika is
now the national flag.
19) After the debacle of 1918 several semi-military associations were formed
by demobilized officers who had fought at the Front. These were semi-clandestine
associations and were known as Freikorps (Volunteer corps). Their principal
purpose was to act as rallying centres for the old nationalist elements.
20) Schiller, who wrote the famous drama of William Tell.
21) The reference here is to those who gave information to the Allied Commissions
about hidden stores of arms in Germany.
22) Before 1918 Germany was a federal Empire, composed of twenty-five federal
23) Probably the author has two separate incidents in mind. The first happened
in 390 B.C., when, as the victorious Gauls descended on Rome, the Senators
ordered their ivory chairs to be placed in the Forum before the Temples of
the Gods. There, clad in their robes of state, they awaited the invader,
hoping to save the city by sacrificing themselves. This noble gesture failed
for the time being; but it had an inspiring influence on subsequent generations.
The second incident, which has more historical authenticity, occurred after
the Roman defeat at Cannae in 216 B.C. On that occasion Varro, the Roman
commander, who, though in great part responsible for the disaster, made an
effort to carry on the struggle, was, on his return to Rome, met by the citizens
of all ranks and publicly thanked because he had not despaired of the Republic.
The consequence was that the Republic refused to make peace with the victorious