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Mein Kampf: The Sequel

In Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler laid out a philosophy that would trigger global war. But a later volume, not published in his lifetime, is at least as shocking as his notorious My Struggle.

Hitler's second book wasn't suppressed, only mislaid. In 1949, a former French intelligence officer noted the manuscript's existence, and in 1953 a reference to it that Hitler himself had made in February 1942 came to light.

So in the summer of 1958, when I was a young historian screening captured documents held in Alexandria, Virginia, for microfilming before the U.S. Army returned the papers to Germany, I had an inkling of what I might be holding when I picked up a file folder labeled as containing a draft of Mein Kampf that an American officer had confiscated in Munich in 1945 from the offices of the Nazi Party publishing house, Eher-Verlag. 

Hitler dictated the 324-page typescript to Eher-Verlag publisher Max Amann in the summer of 1928. In elections that May, Nazi candidates for the Reichstag had done very poorly. Hitler seems to have traced that poor showing to rivals' attacks on the Nazis' advocacy of an alliance with Italy, a position most unpopular then. As a man who always stuck firmly to his ideology, Hitler responded to the dismal election returns by dictating a book explaining the correctness of his views on future German foreign policy—and the error of everyone else's...

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