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HIST3025 Hitler and the National Socialist Ideology Spring Semester 2013 Lecture: Thursday 3.30-4.20 (CPD-3.22) Seminar (5 Feb-): Thursday 4.30–5.20 (RRT,

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Presentation on theme: "HIST3025 Hitler and the National Socialist Ideology Spring Semester 2013 Lecture: Thursday 3.30-4.20 (CPD-3.22) Seminar (5 Feb-): Thursday 4.30–5.20 (RRT,"— Presentation transcript:

1 HIST3025 Hitler and the National Socialist Ideology Spring Semester 2013 Lecture: Thursday (CPD-3.22) Seminar (5 Feb-): Thursday 4.30–5.20 (RRT, 10/F, 1038) hist3025course.html

2 HIST3025 Hitler and the National Socialist Ideology Lecture 3: Hitler’s books Mein Kampf And Zweites Buch 7 February 2013

3 Ego Documents (1) ≠ Scientific diary = fact collection ≠ Administrative diary = list of correspondence Private diary: Non-systematical & fragmentary entries Lack of composition Present tense Open-ended without guiding line Every-day life events, experiences, sentiments, thoughts, reflections Monologue character

4 Ego Documents (2) ≠ Official letter, business letter, certificates ≠ Open letter, fictive letter Private letter: Autobiographical contents Needs mutual trust & letter exchange Mostly short-lived if not for documentation Dialogue character as continuation or preparation for conversation

5 Ego Documents (3) Autobiography: Comprehensive, retro perspective life story Individual character & its actions in centre Own life often interpreted as logical & completely determined by neglecting interruptions Past tense & general positive view on own life Only suited for interesting personalities Danger of narcissism & ego-centrism & brighten-up of own past

6 Ego Documents (4) Memoirs: Focused on memorizing past times Critical to persons & public affairs in past Eye-witness position with individual character not in center Less self-reflective but descriptive & analytical to past events Often not comprehensive life story but only parts of own life worth to present

7 Critically assessing ego documents (1) Highly valuable primary sources Providing atmosphere of past time Complementary to other ‘dryer’ sources Historical truth mostly compromised by wishes, stereotypes, prejudices, psychological problems, ego-centrism

8 Critically assessing ego documents (2) Authenticity: person’s own or other’s hand Time distance: short or long Motives: Education, justification, accusation, entertainment, glorification, publication Life: counter-checking with dates & facts Social position: limited knowledge Character: well-known reputation = Private diary mostly highly reliable = Autobiography least reliable

9 Mein Kampf Sales Vol. 1: Eine Abrechnung A Reckoning (1925: 23,000 copies by 1929) Vol. 2: Die Nationalsozialistische Bewegung The Nazi Movement (1926: 13,000 copies by 1929) One volume Volksausgabe People’s edition (1930: 80,000 copies by 1932; over 1,5 million at end of 1933) = Total sales ca. 8-9 million until 1945 = Chinese version (1936), English (1939) + 15 other languages

10 Hitler’s Zweites Buch (Second Book) Discovered in 1958 & published in 1961 by US historian G.L. Weinberg: English translation Hitler’s Secret Book (1961) ► Shorter & more lucid statement of Hitler’s views on foreign policy principles & p roblems

11 Mein Kampf Structure Autobiographical sections ( /4) Reflections & comments on past & current political circumstances in Germany Crude, turgid, disorganised structure = Mixture of autobiography, philosophy book, blueprint of Hitler’s program

12 Mein Kampf: Basic ideas Continuous contest between creative Aryans and destructive Jews State responsible for preserving Aryan race ↓ = Program for state of German people Step 1: Internal regeneration by education, social discipline, authority, elimination of ‘enemies’ Step 2: External policy to regain power position & creating Lebensraum ‘Living Space’

13 Excerpt from Mein Kampf (…) the [völkisch] folkish state must not adjust its entire educational work primarily to the inoculation of mere knowledge, but to the breeding of absolutely healthy bodies. The training of mental abilities is only secondary. And here again, first place must be taken by the development of character, especially the promotion of will-power and determination, combined with the training of joy in responsibility, and only in last place comes scientific schooling. (Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, 1995, p. 371)

14 Mein Kampf: Summary Introduces to Hitler’s minds & methods: Reveals Hitler’s Messiah (Saviour/Jesus) complex Reflects Hitler’s violence and non-civilised thinking Shows Hitler’s highly personal world view = Hitler fighting his persecutors = Hitler magnifying his person = Hitler creating a dream-world with himself as most important figure


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