Book Reviews

27 julho, 2007

130) Mein Kampf, de Hitler

Sobre Mein Kampf, de Hitler

Li o artigo atual de Ben Macintyre e a resenha publicada pelo Times (Londres) em 1933 sobre o livro Mein Kampf, de Hitler.
A matéria atual é impecável, a resenha de 1933 peca por algumas suposições ingenuas, entre as quais a de que o Hitler Chancellor seria mais responsável e mais "estadista", do que o Hitler golpista de 1923-24, quando ele redigiu essa peça rara da maldade absoluta que constitui o seu livro de ódio racial e de incitação ao morticínio e à guerra.
Concordo com muitos comentaristas (no link abaixo do The Times) em que o livro (ou excertos, já que ele é aborrecidamente longo) deveria ser republicado com anotações críticas, ou seja, por um lado desmentindo cabalmente, com base em dados da ciência, as asserções mentirosas de Hitler sobre o povo judeu, por outro lado demonstrando toda a mortandade que ele provocou na Europa, desde 1933 até 1945.
Tivemos muitos outros exemplos de genocídios e exterminações em massa, entre elas as conduzidas por Stalin, Mao Tsé-tung e Pol-Pot, entre outros, para nao falar de Idi Amin Dada, Saddam Hussein e outros ditadores sanguinários.
Temos hoje a mortandade absurda conduzida por terroristas do fundamentalismo islamico, que produz todos os dias dezenas ou centenas de mortos inocentes, a começar pelos próprios muçulmanos.
O livro ainda pode servir de inspiração para ingênuos e mentes doentias, mas ainda assim creio que uma edição crítica seria melhor do que sua circulação clandestina por militantes da causa abjeta sistematizada pelo mediocre escritor que era essa encarnação do mal absoluto que foi Hitler.
-------------
Paulo Roberto de Almeida


Publish and debunk this relic of history
Ben Macintyre
From The Times, July 27, 2007 (link)

Seventy-four years ago this week, The Times started serialising the worst book ever written. Adolf Hitler had dictated Mein Kampf in Landsburg Prison in 1924, while incarcerated for his attempted putsch against the German Government. The book would not be published in Britain until October 1933, but this newspaper obtained the rights to run exclusive extracts four months earlier.

The Times explained that it was publishing this vile, anti-Semitic rant on the grounds that “readers will find it illuminating as a psychological revelation [which] will show how Hitler came to hate the Jews”. Even so, the Editor of the day, George Dawson, was plainly holding his nose as he placed Mein Kampf (“My Struggle”) in the public domain.

The accompanying editorial spoke of the author as a “fanatical anti-Semite” with “a few ideas, harshly created and stubbornly held”. It noted Hitler’s “revengeful fury” and the “cruel acts of savagery which have degraded Germany in the eyes of the world”. The editorial concluded: “The Hitler regime has actually been established by violence [and] legalised terrorism is still necessary to its maintenance.”

Few in 1933 could have foreseen the full scale of the horror that Hitler would shortly unleash, but there is a flicker of premonition in this newspaper’s palpable distaste. Dawson must also have wondered whether, in giving space to Hitler’s noxious ideas, he was also spreading and encouraging them. Was The Times justified in publishing Hitler’s tract? Or are there some words so ugly in import and so violent in intent, that they should be locked away? Is Hitler’s creed an ideological poison, liable to corrupt and contaminate anyone who is exposed to it? These questions have been asked about Mein Kampf ever since it first appeared, and it is an issue of fierce debate in Germany today, where Horst Möller, a leading German historian, has called for the book to be published openly for the first time since 1945.

The Bavarian state authorities own the copyright to Hitler’s writings, but maintain an effective ban by refusing all requests to print it. Officially, the book cannot be bought in Germany, Israel, Norway or Switzerland. It is illegal to own it in Austria and to sell it in the Netherlands. But the book is available for sale in the US and Britain, as well as through internet bookshops. About 3,000 copies are sold every year in the UK.

Mein Kampf is the central defining text of racial hatred, a lurid, paranoid diatribe founded on the lie of Aryan supremacy. It is not only evil but amazingly badly written, being repetitious, anti-factual, rambling and turgid, the testimony of a furious, self-pitying failure with a slender grasp on reality and none whatever on grammar. It was a huge bestseller: each newly married couple, graduating student, and soldier at the front was presented with a copy by the Third Reich; Hitler earned more than $1 million a year in royalties. It is wicked rubbish, at once stomach-turning and soporific; everyone should read it, once.

Holocaust survivors are understandably unhappy at the prospect of a book that caused such bloodshed becoming freely available once more in the country that gave birth to Nazism. Yet whatever sympathy one may feel for those who suffered, no book should be banned, however pernicious. Allowed to fester in the dark corners of neo-Nazism, Hitler’s ideas continue to hold a spurious glamour for the twisted few: held up to the light, they shrivel. In treating this disease, exposure to fresh air is always more effective than quarantine.

Some argued as much from the beginning. William L. Shirer, the American journalist and historian who covered the rise of the Third Reich, suggested that if Hitler’s ideas had been more widely disseminated and understood outside Germany in the 1930s, then the world might have taken action in time to stop him.

The Times was right to publish extracts from Mein Kampf in 1933; the publisher Hutchinson was brave and right to issue a cheap wartime edition in order that British people might better understand what we were fighting for, and against. And Mr Möller is surely right to argue that Germany has now left the spectre of Nazism so far behind, that it can trust itself to read Hitler’s creed without fear of reinfection.

Quite apart from the issue of free speech, there is the practical consideration that book-banning is virtually impossible in the internet age. The Nazis themselves tried, and failed, to ban and burn the “degenerate” books they feared, and in the process lent those works underground status. Today any neo-Nazi with half a brain (rather more than the usual complement), can download Mein Kampf and feel aggrieved and special for having to do so in secret.

The copyright of Mein Kampf in Germany will expire in 2015, and then German publishers will be free to publish it. How much better, then, to produce a cheap, scholarly, annotated version in German now, with a commentary comprehensively debunking it. That would be a mark of moral courage, a demonstration that Germany has come to terms with its past and can look on the evil of Nazism with confident disdain instead of a lingering fear.

Mein Kampf is a historical relic that has retained its power to horrify: it should be preserved and exhibited in the same way as Auschwitz, the killing fields of Cambodia and Holocaust museums everywhere. Germany has struggled to explore and understand its own history with an honesty that stands as a beacon to other traumatised nations, from South Africa to Iraq to Northern Ireland. Hitler’s apologia for mass murder is a painful but necessary part of that story. It should be published, and damned.


Read the 1933 Times Editorial on Mein Kampf neste link.

1 Comments:

  • Exemplar autografado por Hitler de "Mein Kampf" vai a leilão
    Londres, 2 jun (EFE).- Um exemplar da primeira edição do "Mein Kampf" (Minha luta) autografado por Adolf Hitler, será leiloado no dia 15 em Londres com um preço estimado de aproximadamente 37.000 euros, anunciou nesta quinta-feira a casa Bloomsbury.
    A obra, até agora propriedade de uma colecionadora, se venderá ao melhor comprador junto com um lote de postais assinadas por Hitler e outros altos funcionários do regime nazista.
    Em um desses cartões, aparece o ditador nazista em 1938, antes da Segunda Guerra Mundial, junto com o então primeiro-ministro do Reino Unido, Neville Chamberlain.
    Hitler escreveu o "Mein Kampf" durante o período que passou na prisão alemã de Landsberg, após o famoso "Putsch" do Partido Nacional Socialista para alcançar o poder na Alemanha em 1923.
    A obra se transformou no livro de referência do regime nazista e um reflexo patente das idéias anti-semitas e totalitárias de Hitler.

    Essa materiazinha estava no "Uol - Diversão e Arte..." Oh, admirável indústria cultural que produz enfoques assim". Primeiro absurdo: a "obra" que foi leiloada junto com postais autografados por Mefisto e bando; segundo absurdo: haver leilão pra isso; terceiro absurdo: o preço da loucura; quarto e último absurdo: a Uol publicar a merrequinha no tal "Diversão e Arte". Onde estaria a diversão disto tudo? Onde estaria (heresia) a arte? Vai ver sou eu que já caduquei e fico apontando para supostos absurdos onde só há "realidade" normal, corriqueira, cotidiana...
    Quanto à reimpressão do livro, acho outro absurdo. Primeiro porque a maioria iria comprar um exemplar só para se vangloriar de ter o troféu-manual-do-sadismo em casa. Respeito com as milhões de vítimas desse carrasco é bom e eu gosto. Segundo porque não é preciso que seja publicado sequer trechos do austríaco demente com os devidos comentários racionais porque tudo isto já foi feito à exaustão. Se alguém precisar encher o pneu de um carro, e não tiver ar ou nitrogênio disponível basta comentar algo sobre Hitler, que o pneu se enche sozinho. Terceiro porque memórias do monumental estrago que esse monstro fez já as há de sobra.
    O de que eu gostei mesmo de ter acesso foi ao editoral do Times de 1933. Esse aí eu vou guardar e agradeço ao dono do blog pela postagem.

    By Blogger Maria do Espírito Santo, at sábado, julho 28, 2007 11:48:00 AM  

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