("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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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
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.
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