Whatever Its Influence on Nazi Doctrine, “Mein Kampf” Gave a Crystal-Clear Picture of Its Author’s Intentions

Reviewing a recently published German-language edition of Adolf Hitler’s 1925 manifesto, together with the first volume of Volker Ullrich’s projected three-volume biography of the dictator, Anson Rabinbach comments on Mein Kampf’s actual influence and what can be learned from it:

Mein Kampf was neither ignored nor was it merely decorative, as the myth of the book would later have it. [True,] it was rarely quoted [during the period of Nazi rule] and apart from minor alterations it remained largely unchanged over the years. Tellingly, there were no authorized abridged versions or compendia of its most quotable passages. . . . As the totemic expression of the identity of thought and person, of Hitler’s singular path to racial and national awakening, its authority was instead ritualistic, immune to any demystifying critique of its content.

In short, it never became the canonical statement of National Socialist doctrine. It was more suitable and more profitable as a present, for example, the “marriage edition” given at civil ceremonies to all newlywed couples at state expense.

Nonetheless, in his new biography, Volker Ullrich rightly observes that “it must be assumed that convinced National Socialists read at least major parts of it,” and the fact that it was borrowed frequently from libraries also speaks to a genuine popular interest. . . .

Whether Hitler actually envisioned a war to revise the hated Versailles [treaty, as he urges in the book], remains, the editors remark, “mostly unclear or undeveloped.” Not so, his ruminations on racial eugenics and, even more so, his anti-Semitism: “The Jewish race is everywhere and at all times the incarnation of evil.” Here the rhetoric of extermination and elimination is abundant. . . .

Ullrich insists that [Hitler] never wavered from the ideological fixations that he had adopted in the early 1920s. First and foremost in this outlook was his fanatical anti-Semitism, which saw the removal of Jews from German society as an absolute necessity. “Indeed, [writes Ullrich,] in Mein Kampf Hitler had spelled out with exemplary clarity everything he intended to do if he was ever given power.”

Read more at Times Literary Supplement

More about: Adolf Hitler, Anti-Semitism, History & Ideas, Nazism


Why Saturday Was a Resounding Defeat for Iran

Yaakov Lappin provides a concise and useful overview of what transpired on Saturday. For him, the bottom line is this:

Iran and its jihadist Middle Eastern axis sustained a resounding strategic defeat. . . . The fact that 99 percent of the threats were intercepted means that a central pillar of Iranian force projection—its missile and UAV arsenals—has been proven to be no match for Israel’s air force, for its multilayered air-defense system, or for regional cooperation with allies.

Iran must now await Israel’s retaliation, and unlike Israel, Iranian air defenses are by comparison limited in scope. After its own failure on Sunday, Iran now relies almost exclusively on Hizballah for an ability to threaten Israel.

And even as Iran continues to work on developing newer and deadlier missiles, the IDF is staying a few steps ahead:

Israel is expecting its Iron Beam laser-interception system, which can shoot down rockets, mortars, and UAVs, to become operational soon, and is developing an interceptor (Sky Sonic) for Iran’s future hypersonic missile (Fattah), which is in development.

The Iron Beam will change the situation in a crucial way. Israell’s defensive response on Saturday reportedly cost it around $1 billion. While Iron Beam may have to be used in concert with other systems, it is far cheaper and doesn’t run the risk of running out of ammunition.

Read more at JNS

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Iron Dome, Israeli Security, Israeli technology