Two copies of “Mein Kampf” signed by the Fuehrer himself are due to be auctioned in Los Angeles on Thursday February 27.
The set of two-volumes of Adolf Hitler’s world view and political manifesto – a first edition and a second edition – will be sold online by Nate D Sanders Auctions.
The books are dedicated to Josef Bauer, an early Nazi party member and a leader of the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch bid to overthrow the Bavarian government.
It is assumed that Hitler gave them to Bauer as Christmas gifts in 1925 and 1926. According to the auctioneers, Hitler expressed his best wishes for the holiday.
Hitler began writing “Mein Kampf ” in 1923 whilst serving a prison sentence for “political crimes.” His original idea for the title (in English) was “Four and a Half Years of Struggle Against Lies,Stupidity and Cowardice.”
His publisher advised him that was not exactly a punchy title, and persuaded Hitler to shorten it to “Mein Kampf” – (“My Struggle”).
In the many ways in which Hitler is regarded, it is unusual to think of his career as that of an author. But, initially, he regarded himself as such, and his income actually derived from royalties on the sale of the book.
From 1936, copies of the book were given to all newlyweds in Germany, The National Socialist Party picked up the tab, and Hitler pocketed the royalties.
“Mein Kampf “eventually sold millions of copies, and by the time he became chancellor in 1933 he owed abut $8 million (at today’s value) in unpaid tax on the royalties.
The debt was written off!
During the Second World War, the U,S, government seized the copyright of “Mein Kampf” under the “Trading With The Enemy” act. They sold the rights to the publishing house of Houghton Mifflin in 1979.
Since then, some 15,000 copies have been sold annually in America. Strangely, following protests in 1999, copies of “Mein Kampf” are not permitted to be sent to addresses in Germany by online booksellers such as Amazon.com.
Perhaps, when considering who will gain from this auction, it would be appropriate to pause and reflect upon the result of the ideas and policies set out so clearly in “Mein Kampf.”