1, February, 2016
This is the first of a series on the impact of Mein Kampf, why it was a fraud, and the lessons to be learned.
At the start of 2016 the copyright of Adolf Hitler’s book, Mein Kampf (My Struggle), lapsed. In Germany the book has been forbidden from public sale until now. That is not true elsewhere. Copies and translations of the book are widely available and have had had substantial continuous sales, legally or surreptitiously, over the past 70 or more years. The electronic version has brought remarkable boost to the book, placing it on the world best seller list of the century. This may have arisen following anti-Semitism with the growing immigrant population in the West.
In Arabic countries from Egypt and North Africa and in many Islamic States such as Indonesia the book has been placed in the long-term best seller category. In Pakistan and in India (which has a higher number of Muslims) sales are huge. The title translates as My Jihad.
In the West the sales have been more modest? Why?
The West with its more open society has been able to analyze and criticize its errors and ridicule its falsehoods, its juvenile race hate and its anti-Semitism/ jealousy of the Jews. One sociological fact is apparent.
Where the Bible is absent or banned from circulation the book Mein Kampf and also those like the fraudulent Protocols of the Elders of Zion flourish. Germany was already enfeebled from living Christianity and vibrant Judaism by the illogical deceit of nineteenth century ‘theological rationalists’ using Hegelian philosophy and unsound conjectural suppositions of the texts. Centered in a number of German universities such as the influential Tübingen school, they tried to show that the books of the Bible were not written by the authors attributed to them, that the New Testament books were written perhaps a century after the Christ and some of the Hebrew books were edited and written by a number of authors at a very late date.
They succeeded in raising doubts and disbelief among many people. Synagogue and church attendance plummeted and seminaries were riven with controversy and confusion. Only after WW2 were the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered with often multiple copies of almost all the books of the Hebrew Scriptures. Instead of medieval manuscripts some of these finds dated centuries before Christ. Copies of New Testament books have also been found dating from within a few decades of the events of Christ’s life and his followers.
Hitler aimed to demolish the edifice of the synagogue and the church. In spite of the earlier work of the rationalists and materialists, Hitler’s book did not succeed that well. Originally the book sold only when Hitler seized power by violence and force. The major motive was to understand the real Weltanschauung of the Nazi party as it went into action.
Hitler planned to destroy Christianity because he saw its moral framework) as unfitting for his Reich. He first sent Bible Students, who refused call-up and military service, to the concentration camp at Dachau. He criminalized both Catholics and Protestants. A war already burned against the Jews.
Hitler had bamboozled the Roman Catholic church with a Concordat but then launched an attack on any dissident clergy. In 1937 the pope Pius XI’s encyclical Mit brennender Sorge denounced the ‘myth of blood and race,’ and Hitler’s ‘aggressive paganism,’ and the consequent ‘war of extermination’ against the church.
Hitler set up a Reich Church, where pastors were banned. Only Nazi orators spoke there. With monstrous disinformation, he called it officially the German Evangelical Church. It was a German church for the worship of the German State and a new savior, Adolf Hitler. Some 700 Protestant pastors were arrested. The Jews fared much worse. Synagogues were burnt and Torah scrolls destroyed.
‘Priests say Jesus is a Jew,’ Dr Hanns Kerrl, Hitler’s Reich Minister for Church Affairs, told the Reich’s religious leaders in February 1937. ‘They say salvation comes from the Jews. That won’t do!’ He screamed: ‘A new authority has arisen as to what Christ and Christianity is. That authority is Adolf Hitler. … We must not tolerate Jews any more.’
Hitler’s book became the new Bible. It was presented at weddings to the couple instead of the Bible and at other ‘religious’ occasions. In 1938 Minister Kerrl ordered the Hebrew name of God, YHWH, be suppressed from display in all churches.
With that Germany’s fate was sealed. As the British historian Richard Williams Morgan put it long ago: ‘It is impossible for a Bible-reading nation to be a nation of slaves; for this reason the enemies of mental and spiritual Liberty have always been hostile to its free circulation.’ Cambrian History, p13.
Hitler’s program calling for a National Church under his ideologue Rosenberg was an attempt at thought dictatorship against the true Book. It would have ‘the exclusive right and the exclusive power to control all churches within the borders of the Reich: it declares these to be national churches of the German Reich.’ He decreed: ‘The National Church demands immediate cessation of the publishing and dissemination of the Bible in Germany.’ On the altars there must be nothing but ‘Mein Kampf’ [to the German nation and therefore to God, the most sacred book] and to the left of the altar a sword.
Next time we will look at the fraud itself.