Mein Kampf, E-Readers, and the Power of Nazi Propaganda

 is the
sleeper e-book hit of 2013
, with a number of competing digital
versions of Hitler’s autobiographical manifesto surging at online
According to journalist Chris Faraone
, the trend may have much
to do with the anonymity digital editions afford readers. 

People might not have wanted to buy Mein Kampf
at Borders or have it delivered to their home or displayed on their
living room bookshelf, let alone get spotted reading it on a
subway, but judging by hundreds of customer comments online,
readers like that digital copies can be quietly perused then
dropped into a folder or deleted.

Mein Kampf survives as one of the most effective pieces
of propaganda created by the Nazis, who knew a lot about using mass
media to instill fear and loyalty. In a 2010 Reason TV
video, Steve Luckert of the United States Holocaust Memorial
Museum’s highlighted some of the artifacts displayed
State of
Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda
.” Among them: a
braille copy of
Mein Kampf.

The original text from the Dec. 2, 2010 video, which was
produced by Jim Epstein, is below. 

From radio and film to newspapers and publishing, the
Nazi regime controlled every aspect of German culture from
1933-1945. Through Josef Goebbels’ Ministry of Public Enlightenment
and Propaganda, the German state tightly controlled political
messaging, promoting deification of the leader—the
Führerprinzip—and the demonization of the ubiquitous and
duplicitous “racial enemy.” A new exhibit at the United States
Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., examines “how the
Nazi Party used modern techniques as well as new technologies and
carefully crafted messages to sway millions with its vision for a
new Germany.”’s Michael C. Moynihan visited with museum
historian and curator Steve Luckert to discuss the role and
effectiveness of propaganda in the rise of fascism and what lessons
can be drawn from the Nazi experiment in mass

Approximately 6 minutes.

from Hit & Run

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