HURST AND BLACKETT LTD.,
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This translation of the unexpurgated edition of "Mein
was first published on March 21st, 1939
Volume I: A
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 by Hitler.
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 resistance 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, 213–218)
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
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 time.
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 yearning.
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 states.
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