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Mein Kampf Eine Abrechnung [Volume two: Die nationalsozialistische Bewegung]
Munich Franz Eher,, 1925-27. Octavo. Original white cloth and red boards (volume one) and original red cloth (volume two), spines and front covers lettered in red and white. Preserved in a custom made red morocco slip case and chemise. Frontispiece photographic portrait of Hitler to volume one. Ownership inscription of Emil Garraux dated August 1925 to front free endpaper of volume one, with his very occasional pencil side ruling and marginal notes in the text and to the rear endpapers. Corners of volume two a little bruised. Cover of volume two with an ink mark. Paper stock lightly toned, gathering 21 in volume one bound in twice; a very good copy. First edition, published in an edition of 10,000 copies on July 18, 1925. The importance of Mein Kampf cannot be understated. Not only was it the origin and strength of the National-Socialist programme transforming Hitler's status from a seedy local agitator to a potential national saviour in process, but more importantly caused a major turning point in the twentieth century by setting the seeds for the most destructive war ever fought. Almost forty when he started writing it, Hitler had achieved almost nothing, but the book constituted a turning point in his career. "Political creeds as the basis for new religions have usually spelt danger for humanity. When they are distilled from the half-baked prejudices harboured by the more reactionary section of a nation not particularly noted for political enlightenment, they spell disaster." (PMM). In November 1923, Hitler was arrested after an unsuccessful Nazi putsch in Berlin. When he said, later, that this defeat was the greatest stroke of luck he ever had, he meant that without it he couldn't have made himself into a popular hero. The trial became a social event, with photographers waiting outside the courtroom. For high treason he couldn't have been given a lower sentence - five years of imprisonment, with the possibility of parole after the first six months. As a prisoner in the Landesberg Fortress, he was given preferential treatment. It was here that he dictated the first volume of Mein Kampf to his associate Rudolf Hess. Just before Christmas 1924, he was released after serving only nine months of his sentence. The first volume sets out his highly tendentious opinions about the world he grew up in, and about the 1914-18 war. It presents his justification for territorial acquisitiveness - Germany needs more Lebensraum - and airs his anti-Semitism. "Although it contained much that was shocking to many Germans, its main sentiments were widely shared in central Europe. A pseudo-mystic racial theory, totally unrelated to fact, was made to support pan-Germanism, anti-Semitism, militarism and ultra-nationalism, the combination of which was to be implemented by the unrestricted use of power as interpreted through the mentality of a superstitious bully" (PMM). Entitled "The National Socialist Movement", volume two (1927) contains most of the ideas later fleshed out in his policies. "This programme, with a detailed account of what it would entail nationally and internationally, is stated with complete frankness in the two volumes of Mein Kampf. The brazenness of the declaration was due to naivety and immaturity. Unfortunately Europe was governed by small men at the time and when Hitler came to power in 1933 he found that his wildest claims and most extravagant actions earned but mild and ineffectual rebuke. His enemies accepted the occupation of the Rhineland, the tearing-up of the Versailles and Locarno Treaties, the abandonment of the League of Nations and the seizure of Austria and Czechoslovakia. Hitler had a right to be surprised at their violent reaction to the attack on Poland. It was all in Mein Kampf, but they just could not believe it" (PMM). Provenance: Emil Garraux (1854-1951) was a Swiss member of the Verein für die Deutsche Sprache and co-author of Deutsches Namenbüchlein für die Westschweiz.
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2015-12-15           Check availability:      Biblio    


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