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Orwell on Hitler's "Struggle"

Image result for hitler paintings

The publisher Hurst & Blackett brought out an English language edition of AH's book, Mein Kampf, in 1939.

It was, as George Orwell says in the review to which I'll link you in a moment, edited in an appeasementist spirit: 'see? Hitler's not so bad, maybe we can all get along.' A year later, the same publishers re-issued it, apparently with new prefatory material etc. because Britain and Germany had in the meantime gone to war.

I think Orwell's review, written in response to the re-issuance, holds up very well through all the intervening decades. I especially like the summary of the world Hitler wanted: " a horrible brainless empire in which, essentially, nothing ever happens except the training of young men for war and the endless breeding of fresh cannon-fodder."

Here's the URL:


  1. I am struck by Orwell's prediction that Hitler would attack Russia, despite what he calls the Russo-German Pact. Orwell wrote this in March 1940, and the Nazi attack on Russia occurred in June 1941. I wonder if Orwell had unusual insight, or if many had made the same prediction by March 1940.

  2. @Henry
    According to summaries of the bk I've seen, Hitler explicitly wrote in Mein Kampf about the need for Germany to expand to the east; Lebensraum, etc. So Orwell was prob. not alone in predicting this. Hitler had initially wanted to attack Russia in autumn 1940, before deciding he needed more time to prepare (see G. Wright, The Ordeal of Total War, pb. 1968, p.33).


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