Mein Kampf, in English: My Struggle, is a book by Adolf Hitler. It combines elements of autobiography with an exposition of Hitler's political ideology. Volume 1 of Mein Kampf was published in 1925 and Volume 2 in 1926.
Hitler originally wanted to call his forthcoming book Viereinhalb Jahre (des Kampfes) gegen Lüge, Dummheit und Feigheit, or Four and a Half Years (of Struggle) Against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice. Max Amann, head of the Franz Eher Verlag and Hitler's publisher, is said to have suggested the much shorter "Mein Kampf", often translated as "My Struggle", "My Challenge", "My Campaign", "My Fight", or "My Battle".
Hitler began the dictation of the book while imprisoned for what he considered to be "political crimes" after his failed revolution in Munich in November 1923. Though Hitler received many visitors earlier on, he soon devoted himself entirely to the book. As he continued, Hitler realized that it would have to be a two-volume work, with the first volume scheduled for release in early 1925. The prison governor of Landsberg noted at the time that "he [Hitler] hopes the book will run into many editions, thus enabling him to fulfill his financial obligations and to defray the expenses incurred at the time of his trial." Once released from prison on December 20, 1924, Hitler moved back to the picturesque mountainous climes of the Obersalzberg.
While he was in power (1933–1945), Mein Kampf came to be available in three common editions. The first, the Volksausgabe or People's Edition, featured the original cover on the dust jacket and was navy blue underneath with a gold swastika eagle embossed on the cover. The Hochzeitsausgabe, or Wedding Edition, in a slipcase with the seal of the province embossed in gold onto a parchment-like cover was given free to marrying couples. In 1940, the Tornister-Ausgabe was released. This edition was a compact, but unabridged, version in a red cover and was released by the post office available to be sent to loved ones fighting at the front. These three editions combined both volumes into the same book.
A special edition was published in 1939 in honor of Hitler's 50th birthday. This edition was known as the Jubiläumsausgabe, or Anniversary Issue. It came in both dark blue and bright red boards with a gold sword on the cover. This work contained both volumes one and two. It was considered a deluxe version, relative to the smaller and more common Volksausgabe.
The book could also be purchased as a two-volume set during Hitler's reign, and was available in soft cover and hardcover. The soft cover edition contained the original cover (as pictured at the top of this article). The hardcover edition had a leather spine with cloth-covered boards. The cover and spine contained an image of three brown oak leaves.