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About the Author

Adolfus ("Adolf") Hitler was born in Austria on April 20, 1889. Hitler fought for the German army during World War I. Thereafter, he was instrumental in the formation and growth of the National Socialist German Workers' Party in Germany (the NSDAP, or "Nazi" party). He was imprisoned following his failed "Beerhall Putsch" of November 11, 1923. While in Landsberg prison, he dictated a book to fellow inmate Rudolf Hess that, in 1925, was released as "Mein Kampf" (meaning "My Struggle"). In 1933, Hitler came to power in Germany. Under Hitler, Germany was set on a course of German "nationalism": a state only for persons who were held to be "Germans". The quest to extend German jurisdiction, and "Germanism", over much if not all of continental Europe eventually led to the second world war. Defeated, Hitler committed suicide shortly before the land invasion of Berlin by the Allies in 1945.


About the Book

It must be remembered that this is an English translation of "Mein Kampf". Berlin approved only a British translation to English of his book. This is not the version that was approved.

The book was not written by Hitler in English. Accordingly, care must be taken to compare this translation with the original German text where there exists debate over what Hitler meant, in English, by what he stated in German.

Issues of censorship have long surrounded "Mein Kampf" because of its decidedly racist, frequently anti-Semitic, content. The book is banned in many countries, including Germany. In countries with constitutional protections against such censorship, those who do not want people to read Mein Kampf have also pressured bookstores, including Barnes & Noble and even Amazon, to stop selling the book. Some other book stores have chosen not to carry the book. In such cases, the purpose has arguably been the same as the purpose of censorship: to prevent communication. Often, the result has been almost as effective: it has become much more difficult for people to purchase, and thereby read, the book.

As a case in point, shortly after the buy-out by Canadian mega bookstore Indigo of Canada's other mega bookstore, Chapters, de facto owner Heather Reisman purged Mein Kampf from the list of books sold by the 200 or so Canadian outlets of the newly amalgamated mega bookstore company. She reportedly said that she had never read the book. Though not censorship, the result in practice has been that the book will be very much more difficult to buy in Canada. This is exacerbated also by the fact that the arrival of mega bookstore such as Indigo and Chapters has resulted in the closing of many smaller bookstores that did carry "Mein Kampf".

Those who strongly encourage bookstores to choose not to sell "Mein Kampf", and those booksellers who de-list the book, argue that not selling the book is not censorship but is rather a matter of freedom of choice: the freedom of the bookseller to choose not to sell the book. Nobody is trying to censor the book, it is argued, because people can still read it in libraries. Of course, that argument is true and honest only so long as those who try to make the book more difficult to buy do not use strong-arm tactics to have the book purged from libraries, like the Mondo Politico Library. We trust that the argument is true and honest, and that Mondo Politico's freely made choice to make the book available in its library will be respected - even if not favoured - as much as a choice not to make it available.

That said, it would be wrong to interpret Mondo Politico's choice to carry "Mein Kampf" as an endorsement of the ideas in "Mein Kampf". Mondo Politico does not endorse any idea set out in any of the books included in its library. Nor does Mondo Politico endorse any political or cultural movement. Nor does Mondo Politico seek to deny historical facts. Rather, along with thousands or millions of other libraries, it simply chooses to give people access to words written by one of the most notorious political figures of the 20th century.

As with any book, we would encourage the reader to go beyond reading just the book in question. To appreciate the implications of the ideas set out in "Mein Kampf", you are strongly urged to read other, related books, including histories relating to life, and death, in the Nazi regime, and relating to the philosophy set out in the book. There exists a wealth - an infamous wealth - of information in this regard, and much of it is available for free on the Internet.