- Zweites Buch
The "Zweites Buch" ("Second Book" and sometimes "Secret Book") is an unedited transcript of
Adolf Hitler's thoughts on foreign policy written in 1928; it was written after " Mein Kampf" and was never published in his lifetime.
A sequel to "Mein Kampf"
Nazi Party's poor showing in the 1928 elections, Hitlerdecided the reason for the loss was that the public did not fully understand his ideas. He retired to Munichand began dictating a sequel to " Mein Kampf". It focused on foreign policy, expanding on the ideas of "Mein Kampf" and suggesting that around 1980, a final struggle would take place for world dominationbetween the United Statesand the combined forces of Greater Germanyand the British Empire.
The origins of "Zweites Buch" can be traced back to one of the main issues during the 1928 "Reichstag" elections, the condition of ethnic Germans in Italy.
In the province of South Tyrol, which had become part of the
Italyafter World War I, but possessed a German-speaking majority, the Fascist government of Benito Mussolinihad followed a policy of forcible Italianization of the German-speaking majority, a policy opposed by many in Germany. During the 1928 "Reichstag" elections, the leader of the German People's Party, the Foreign Minister Gustav Stresemannfelt that taking a strong diplomatic stand against the Italianization policies of Fascist Italy might improve his party's chances at the polls. Indeed, every German political party with one exception followed Stresemann's lead and vied with each other to offer the strongest possible condemnation of Mussolini's treatment of Italy's German minority.
The sole exception was the
Nazi Party. Hitler publicly stated that Germanyneeded Italyas an ally, and thus the German government should remain silent about the Tyrolissue. Hitler was roundly condemned by every other German political party for his views about the Tyrol issue. Even many of the other Nazi leaders were uncomfortable with Hitler's stance. Hitler wrote "Zweites Buch" initially to explain why he felt that Germany should not champion Tyrol's German population. In Hitler's view, Mussolini was one of the world's great statesmen, and if the price of his friendship was abandoning the German-speakers of the Tyrol, then this was a price well-worth paying.
Moreover, Hitler attacked Stresemann for his goal of restoring Germany to its pre-1914 position. In Hitler's view, merely overthrowing the
Treaty of Versaillesand restoring Germany to its pre-1914 borders was unacceptable as in Hitler's opinion that would be only a temporary solution. In "Zweites Buch", Hitler stated his belief that Germany's real problem was the lack of sufficient " Lebensraum" ("Living space") for the German people. In Hitler's view, only states with large amounts of "Lebensraum" were successful. In "Zweites Buch", Hitler announced that overthrowing the "shackles" of Versailles would be only the first step in a Nazi foreign policy, whose ultimate objective was to obtain the desired "Lebensraum" in the territory of Russia.
Only two copies of the original 200 page manuscript were made, and only one of these copies has ever been made public. "Zweites Buch" was not published in 1928 as "Mein Kampf" was not selling well, and Hitler's publisher informed him that having two books out would depress sales even further. By the time "Mein Kampf" started to sell well after the September 1930 "Reichstag" elections, Hitler decided that "Zweites Buch" revealed too much of his foreign policy goals. Kept strictly secret under Hitler's orders, the document was placed in a safe inside an air raid shelter in 1935 where it remained until its discovery by an American officer in 1945. The authenticity of the book was verified by
Josef Berg(a former employee of the Nazi publishing house Eher Verlag) and by Telford Taylor, the former Brigadier General U.S.A.R. and Chief Counsel at the Nuremberg war-crimes trials. The book was neither edited nor published during the Nazi Germanyera and remains known as "Zweites Buch" (lit. "Second Book"). The "Zweites Buch" was first discovered in the Nazi archives being held in the United Statesby the German-born Jewish American historian Gerhard Weinbergin 1958. Unable to find an American publisher, Weinberg turned to his Jewish mentor Hans Rothfelsand his associate Martin Broszatat the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich, who published "Zweites Buch" in 1961 in German. Rothfels was immensely pleased by his protégé’s discovery and wrote the foreword to the 1961 edition. A pirated edition was translated into English and published in New Yorkin 1962. The first authoritative English edition was not published until 2003 as "Hitler's Second Book: The Unpublished Sequel to Mein Kampf". It has also been published under the title "Hitler's Secret Book".
"Zweites Buch" and "Mein Kampf"
There are a number of similarities and differences between "Zweites Buch" and "Mein Kampf". As in "Mein Kampf", Hitler declared that the Jews were his eternal and most dangerous opponents. As in "Mein Kampf", Hitler outlined what the German historian
Andreas Hillgruberhas called his "Stufenplan" ("stage-by-stage plan"). Hitler himself never used the term "Stufenplan", which was coined by Hillgruber in his 1965 book "Hitlers Strategie". Briefly, the "Stufenplan" called for three stages. In the first stage, there would be a massive military build-up, the overthrow of the "shackles" of the Treaty of Versailles, and the forming of alliances with Fascist Italy and the British Empire. The second stage would be a series of fast, lightning wars in conjunction with Italyand Britain against Franceand whichever of her allies in Eastern Europesuch as Czechoslovakia, Poland, Romaniaand Yugoslaviachose to stand by her. The third stage would be a war to obliterate what Hitler considered to be the " Judeo-Bolshevik" regime in the Soviet Union.
One way in which "Zweites Buch" differs from "Mein Kampf" is that in "Zweites Buch", Hitler added a fourth stage to the "Stufenplan". In "Zweites Buch", Hitler announced that around 1980 the final struggle for world domination would take place between the
United Statesand the now Greater Germany allied with the British Empire. The most spectacular difference according to some between "Mein Kampf" and "Zweites Buch" is in Hitler's views regarding the United States. In "Mein Kampf", Hitler declared that Germany's most dangerous opponent on the international scene was the Soviet Union. In "Zweites Buch", Hitler declared that for immediate purposes, the Soviet Unionwas still the most dangerous opponent, but that in the long-term, the most dangerous potential opponent was the United States. Beyond that, Hitler's views on the United States changed dramatically between 1924 and 1928.
In "Zweites Buch", Hitler called for an Anglo-German alliance based on the notion that the two "Aryan" powers were natural allies, and because of power politics. In "Zweites Buch", Hitler tried to explain away the contradiction between his view of the British striving for an balance of power leading to an Anglo-German alliance, and his goal of Germany being the dominant continental power by arguing it was wrong to believe that "England fought every hegemonic power immediately", but rather was prepared to accept dominant states whose aims were "obviously and purely continental in nature" [Jäckel, Eberhard "Hitler's World View" page 41] . Hitler went on to write that "Of course no one in Britain will conclude an alliance for the good of Germany, but only in the furtherance of British interests" [Strobl, Gerwin "The Germanic Isle" page 43.] . However, since Hitler believed that there was an on-going struggle going on between the "Jewish invasion" against "old British tradition" for the control of Britain , Hitler believed the chances for Anglo-German alliance to be good provided the “Jewish invasion” was resisted successfully [Leitz, Christian "Nazi Foreign Policy" page 35] . However, Hitler hedged somewhat by claiming that "The instincts of Anglo-Saxondom are still so sharp and alive that one cannot speak of a complete victory of Jewry, but rather, in part the latter is still forced to adjust its interests to those of the English. If the Jew were to triumph in England, English interests would recede into the background...if the Briton triumphs then a shift of England's attitude vis-à-vis Germany can still take place" [Leitz, Christian "Nazi Foreign Policy" page 35] .
In "Mein Kampf", Hitler rarely mentioned the United States and when he did, it was in a tone of deep contempt. In "Mein Kampf", Hitler portrayed the United States as a "racially degenerate" society on its way to self-oblivion. By contrast, in "Zweites Buch", Hitler portrayed the U.S. as a dynamic, "racially successful" society that practiced
eugenicsand segregation and followed what Hitler considered to be a wise policy of excluding "racially degenerate" immigration from eastern and southern Europe. What promoted the change in Hitler's views between 1924 and 1928 is not known. By 1928, Hitler seems to have heard about the massive industrial wealth of the U.S., the Immigration Act of 1924, segregation and the fact that several American states had eugenics boards to sterilize people who were considered mentally defective, and was favorably impressed. Hitler proclaimed his admiration for these sorts of policies and expressed his wish that Germany would do similar things, though on a much greater scale.
Of all Germany's potential enemies, Hitler ranked the United States as the greatest and most dangerous. By contrast, Hitler saw the
United Kingdomas a fellow "Aryan" power that in exchange for Germany's renunciation of naval and colonial ambitions would ally itself with Germany. France in Hitler's opinion, was rapidly " Negroizing" itself. In regard to the Soviet Union, Hitler dismissed the Russian people as being Slavic " Untermenschen" ("sub-humans") incapable of intelligent thought. Hitler consequently believed that the Russian people were ruled over by what he regarded as a gang of bloodthirsty but inept Jewish revolutionaries. By contrast, the majority of Americans were in Hitler's view "Aryans", albeit Aryans ruled by what Hitler saw as a Jewish plutocracy. In Hitler's point of view, it was this combination of "Aryan" might coupled with competent "Jewish rule" which was what made the U.S. so dangerous.
List of Adolf Hitler books
*Eberhard, Jäckel "Hitler's World View A Blueprint for Power", Harvard University Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America, 1981.
*Leitz, Christian "Nazi Foreign Policy, 1933-1941 The Road to Global War", Routledge: London, United Kingdom, 2004.
*Strobl, Gerwin "The Germanic Isle Nazi Perceptions of Britain", Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, United Kingdom, 2000
Gerhard L. Weinberg(editor) "Hitler's Second Book: The Unpublished Sequel to Mein Kampf", Enigma Books: New York, 2003, ISBN 1-929631-16-2
* [http://web.archive.org/web/20030608063603/http://www.adolfhitler.ws/lib/books/zweites/zweites.htm Hitler's "Zweites Buch"]
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