Saturday, October 22, 2016

Book Review: Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler

History has created a villain in Adolf Hitler, but he was a hero for the community he represented. After going through volumes of books on second world war and watching the movie ‘Schindler’s List’ several times (and some more movies on Holocaust too), I had stayed away from reading much about Hitler. So this book bought out of curiosity stayed in my book rack for years untouched. Now I believe History is perspectives of who wrote it, so I did put my hands on this autobiographical work of Adolf Hitler to get to know his perspectives and to understand the personality which made him a leader with an influence significant enough to cause a world war.

He was a student of Fine Arts. Along with painting, he spent considerable time in studying ‘German nationalist ideas’. From there you can find the traces of how his dis-likening towards the Jews gradually turned into hatred. He got transformed from a less talkative as a student into an effective orator who can hold on masses and impress them with his thinking and arguments. He was just a soldier in the First World War but became powerful enough to cause the Second World War.

Except in the first two chapters, there is not much info on his personal life and the rest of the book is about his ideas on Politics, German Nationalism and so on. So instead of an autobiography, this appeared to me like a textbook of Political Science. This book was published in 1925 much before significant political events happened. But this still serves an important purpose of deciphering how his thinking shaped him into what he became later. Many of his observations about history, psychology of masses, role of media, and importance of arms were so sharp which you don’t find them often in other political leaders of his time though they were deeply opinionated and skewed towards the welfare of German Society at the expense of other races. His knowledge and oratory skills were so good, he invoked pride in Germans in all his speeches and he was on the path to leading them as the book ends.

Hitler mentions in this book that the majority of population lacks ability to think and they believe whatever media or history books say is true, but there are few who have ability to critically analyze and they are outnumbered by the majority. Since the majority chooses their leader or Govt. the outcome may not be intelligent choice always. He also believed that degeneration of German society was due to the grip of Jews on that society as traders and he wanted to put an end to it. His similar arguments made him a natural leader of Germans and his rise in the political career began.

Those who write history ensure it favors them, so it is one sided. It is important to hear the other side of the story too. You like Hitler or not, it is important to hear his version of story. As I have already mentioned, this was written twenty years before the Second World War in which life of Hitler came to an end. This book do not have details of war or personal life of Hitler but is more about political ideology. If you like history or politics, this book is for you and Hitler will impress you like how he had impressed his people as an orator.