In 1925 the first volume of Hitler’s manifesto, Mein Kampf was published.
When the German government resumed paying reparations to France and Great Britain for World War I many people in Germany were angered. This played into the hands of the Nazi party and its leader, Adolf Hitler. As support for the Nazi party grew Hitler saw an opportunity to begin an uprising against the German government. On the 3rd of November, Hitler and 2,000 Nazi members marched through Munich and into Munich Beer Hall. Hitler took over the meeting that was being held there by important Bavarian politicians and made claims that he would overthrow the German Government and with their help place them at the heart of government. On the 4th of November Hitler again began to march through Munich but they were met by armed police and the uprising was quashed. Hitler was arrested for the Act that would later be called ‘the Beer Hall Putsch’ and sentenced to 5 years which began on the 1st of April 1924 in Landsberg Jail.
Hitler considered himself to be a political prisoner and while in prison, Hitler began to dictate his autobiographical book ‘Mein Kampf’ (or my struggle). He originally wanted to name the book “Viereinhalb Jahre (des Kampfes) gegen Lüge, Dummheit und Feigheit” (or Four and a Half Years (of Struggle) Against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice) but Hitler’s publisher, Max Amann later suggested the shorter version.
Hitler dictated his story to fellow prisoner and Nazi party leader, Rudolf Hess. Hess had been a supporter of Hitler’s for many years and it was his involvement in the Beer Hall Putsch incident that put him in prison with Hitler. Hess studied Geo-Politics at the University of Munich in 1919 and under the influence of Karl Haushofer, Hess learnt a lot about the concept of Lebensraum (or Living Space). The concept is that a superior race like the Germans should have the space required to expand and procreate at the expense of those lesser races. This belief also features in “Mein Kampf” with Hitler talking of his hatred for communism and claims that Germany has a historic destiny which would involve the conquering of land in Russia (a hint of his future intensions). “Lebensraum” is also featured strongly in the Nazi party ideology.
Hitler talks of his life including his first encounter with a Jew when he was in Vienna and his anti-Semitic views that grew and change his political views. While in prison Hitler had access to many books, and spent a lot of time reading. One such book he read was “The International Jew” by American car manufacturer Henry Ford. In the book Ford discloses his belief in a world wide Jewish conspiracy to take over the world. This and many other anti-Semitic text contributed to Hitler’s political views he discloses in “Mein Kampf”. He also He claimed that German politicians and the entire political system were to blame for Germany not reaching its potential and that it would need to be replaced. He also blamed the Jews and communists for much of the problems with Germany and believed the eradication of the weak was far less cruel than protecting them and their removal would allow the strong to flourish.