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A Guide to Collecting Mein Kampf

Article about: This thread is intended to be a collector’s guide to buying various editions of Mein Kampf. The book’s publishing history is confusing, so you will probably see something in here with which

  1. #1

    Default A Guide to Collecting Mein Kampf

    This thread is intended to be a collector’s guide to buying various editions of Mein Kampf. The book’s publishing history is confusing, so you will probably see something in here with which you disagree. I am not an expert; I am an amateur. I am interested in the book’s publishing history, and my research over the years has been talking to other collectors, studying photos and descriptions on dealers’ web sites. I also use, Stephen R. Pastore, Andreas Stanik, and Steven M. Brewster, Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf: A Descriptive Bibliography, New York: American Bibliographic Press, 2016. This guide is not definitive nor is it the last word. There are gaps. It is none-the-less, as accurate as I could make it. I hope that some of you will fill-in the gaps and that those of you who have additional information or better photos will share it here. If you disagree with what I have written, please speak-up. My plan is to post this thread in segments, one week apart. That will give time for people to respond and to have some discussion on what has been posted. Dwight

    Terms Used in This Guide
    Blind stamped: A process in which the image and letters on a book’s cover and spine are indented into the binding material, and the depressions were filled with color or left empty and un-high-lighted. In some cases, the color is on the stamp. All copies of Mein Kampf had blind-stamped, letters, and mages on the front cover and the spine.
    Boards: The covers of a hardbound book, which are thick cardboard covered with paper, leather, vellum, or cloth.
    Compartmented spine: A spine that is divided into blank spaces by ridges or lines across the spine, between which names, titles, letters, and images are blind-stamped.
    Endpaper: a once-folded sheet of paper having one leaf pasted flat against the inside of the front or back cover of a book and the other pasted at the base to the first or last page.
    Flyleaf: The first blank page and the last blank page in a book (see endpaper)
    laid-paper: A type of paper having a ribbed texture that was used often in the 12th to 19th Centuries. The type was popular into the 20th Century in expensive, deluxe books.
    Quarter-bound or half binding: Two terms that mean a binding in which one type of material covers the spine and another type of material covers the boards. I.e. quarter-bound leather means that only the spine is leather-bound.

    Historical Note
    Until 1942, all editions of Mein Kampf were printed in Gothic Fraktur, which presents a historical dichotomy. Hitler maintained that Germans, as a racial group, were unique, and he argued that foreign influences had to be eliminated in order to maintain German culture, language, and customs in order to preserve the essence of being German (Deutschtum). Those same issues had been the basis of the Fraktur-Antigua Dispute, a typographical argument over which typeface was “more German,” Antigua or Gothic Fraktur. The argument started in the 19th Century and over time, the dispute became ideological with the Fraktur supporters arguing that Gothic Fraktur was representative of German culture, values, and history whereas Antigua (Latin typeface) was un-German. The result was that Fraktur gained predominance in Germany and became identified with everything German. The argument is reflected in early 20th Century German-English dictionaries in which the English words were written in Antiqua and the German words in Fraktur. The ideology included cursive writing with the introduction of Kurrentschrift, a form of German-language handwriting based on late medieval cursive writing, also known as Deutscheschrift. Included was Sütterlinschrift that was taught in German schools from 1915 to 1941. One would think that Hitler would have embraced Fraktur. But according to Eric Michaud, The Cult of Art in Nazi Germany, Hitler disliked the Fraktur typeface, and he said so in the Reichstag in 1934, “Your alleged Gothic internalization does not fit well in this age of steel and iron, glass and concrete, of womanly beauty and manly strength, of head raised high and intention defiant ... In a hundred years, our language will be the European language. The nations of the east, the north and the west will, to communicate with us, learn our language. The prerequisite for this: The script called Gothic be replaced by the script we have called Latin so far…” The script the Germans called Latin is Antigua. On 3 January 1941, Hitler directed Martin Bormann to issue an edict banning Gothic Fraktur and replacing it with Antigua in all publications. The official reasons for dropping Gothic Fraktur type-face was to make it easier for non-Germans in the occupied territories to read the propaganda broadsides, signs, and all other official publications. Another reason given was Gothic Fraktur had Jewish origins. Starting with the 1942 editions of Mein Kampf, an Antigua-style typeface was used, ending the 100-year-old Fraktur-Antigua Dispute. The two title pages below illustrate the change

    Attachment 1375124Attachment 1375125

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  3. #2


    Vol. 1, 1925, 6.25 x 9.25 inches (15.85 x 23.5 cm), Price range $1,500 to $3,375
    Volume 1, Eine Abrechnung, was published in July 1925. This first volume was quarter-bound with a white cloth spine and red cloth-covered boards. Hitler’s name and the title are in white letters on the cover and red letters on the spine. The publisher is shown at the base of the front cover. On 25 July 1925 the 1st edition of vol. 1 went on sale, dated 1925 on the title page. This edition, and the following editions through 1932, were printed in an Art Nouveau Gothic Fraktur font in which the “K” in Kampf is unique and difficult for many people to recognize.

  4. #3


    Attachment 1375127

    Vol. 2. 6.25 x 9.25 inches (15.85 x 23.5 cm), Price range $1,500-$3,400
    Volume 2, Die Nationalsozialistische Bewegung, followed on 11 December 1926, but is dated 1927 on the title page. (4) This volume was bound entirely in red cloth with Hitler’s name and the title in gold letters on the cover and the spine. The publisher is shown at the base of the front cover.

  5. #4


    1925/1927 paired set, 6.25 x 9.25 inches (15.85 x 23.5 cm), Price range: $4,700 to $212,200
    This two-volume 1925-27 set appears to be mis-matched because one has a white spine and the other a red spine. That is not the case. It simply reflects the initially different bindings, and identifies this set to collectors as the 1st edition of the paired volumes. The early sets, 1926 and 1927, might not have the same date on the title page for both volumes because of the overlap in initial publication.

  6. #5


    1927/29 paired set, 6.25 x 9.25 inches (15.85 x 23.5 cm), Price range $400 to $3,325
    Volume 1’s (Eine Abrechnung) second printing came out on 20 December 1925, dated 1926 and labeled 2nd edition. (left) This volume did not have the white spine. It was again paired with volume 2 (Die Nationalsozialistische Bewegung) to create the 1927/29 paired series.

    The next segment will be posted next Sunday. Dwight

  7. #6

    Thumbs up

    Attachment 1376832 Attachment 1376833 Attachment 1376834
    Volksausgabe 1930 -1944, 5 x.7.5 inches (12.5 x 19.3 cm) $125 to $640

    This is the most commonly found edition of Mein Kampf but not the least expensive. It was published in blue and red cloth bindings, but the red editions are extremely rare, probably because there were fewer printed than the blue. Otherwise, the run was consistent throughout the 14 years the book was printed, but there are a few small changes that you will run into.

    Attachment 1376835 Attachment 1376836
    Hochzeitsausgabe 5 x.7.5 inches (12.5 x 19.3 cm) $176-$330

    The Hochzeitsausgabe (Wedding Edition) appeared in 1936. It is quarter-bound in either black or blue leather with cloth-covered, marbled boards, and a compartmented spine. All the lettering is gilt, and a municipal seal, usually 20 karat gold foil, is blind-stamped on the upper center of the cover. On some of the early editions, the city seal is located on the upper left corner of the cover. The mayors of all the towns and cities in Germany were given an allotment of these books, that were probably pre-stamped with his city’s municipal arms on the front cover. However, Pastore says in his book that each mayor was responsible for having his city’s seal stamped on the covers. The mayors gave these books as wedding gifts to newlyweds. The dedication page was “tipped-in,” that is, attached with glue, between the free leaf end paper and the fly leaf. Typically, the mayor signed his name on the dedication page of all the books in his allotment and a clerk filled in the blanks when the time came to give a book to newlyweds. There were also variant editions, so-called “Departmental Editions,” that were intended for the SS, the Kriegsmarine, and the Wehrmacht, each of which was marked with its own unique seal or emblem. The Kriegsmarine edition has a blue top edge.

    Starting in 1940, these books were blind-stamped with Kriegsausgabe (War Edition) at the bottom of the spine, and had a blue top edge. Note that his blind-stamp has not been filled in with color or gold. In-so-far as I know, only the Hochzeitsausgabe copies are stamped with this.

    The wedding editions came in a slipcase. Some slipcases were like the one shown in the two left-hand photos above, a solid case wrapped with linen cloth, some black, others blue. This one, a dark grayish color, is designed to display the book on a shelf.

    Others were like this example, are sturdy cardboard stamped in blue ink with, Hitler, Mine Kampf, Sonderausgabe, Oberbürgermeistaer. Given that this slipcase identifies the book inside as a Sonderausgabe (Special Edition) it might have been intended as a gift for something other than a wedding, Pastore said that he has seen wedding editions that were used “as awards to citizens for everything from academic excellence to being the most productive worker on an assembly line.” A type of slipcase different than those shown here can be found on this Forum thread. Mein Kampf minty

    Attachment 1376841
    Tornisterausgabe, 4.5 x 6.5 inches (11.43 x 15.24 cm) $34-$230

    In 1940 the Tornisterausgabe, often called the back pack or Knapsack edition, came out and was printed through 1944. It is a smaller, than the Volksausgabe and is bound primarily in red linen and printed on very thin paper, almost onion skin, to reduce the thickness and weight of the book without sacrificing any words. The Tornister edition is readily identifiable by the gold title on the front cover. The demand for the Tornisterausgabe was so great that in 1940 two Munich publishing houses, Laumann Dülmen Verlag and Buchgewerbehaus M. Müller & Sohn were contracted to publish the book. In 1943, Laumann Dülmann Verlag printed an edition with a bright blue cover for the Hitler Youth, that was called the Hitlerjugend-Ausgabe. The Tornister editions that I found were offered for sale at prices lower than the Volksausgabe and the Hochzeitsausgabe, and most of them were in the UK.

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    Attachment 1381708

    Attachment 1381713
    2-vol. Volksausgabe standard editions 1932-1944
    5 x.7.5 inches (12.5 x 19.3 cm) $100- $300
    In 1932, a 2-vol. paperback edition came out that was sold in a single carboard slipcase. There are not a lot of them on the market because they just did not hold-up well over time.

  9. #8


    Attachment 1381744
    1927 2-vol. deluxe set, 5 x.7.5 inches (12.5 x 19.3 cm)

    The asking price is not a typo. It is there alone because I have not seen any other examples of this edition for sale. A limited edition of 500 numbered, 2-volume sets with white leather binding and gilded page top edges. Both volumes received the same number. There were 500 copies of this special edition printed, numbered, and signed in ink by Hitler. Each volume came in a separate slipcase.

  10. #9


    Attachment 1381752
    1934 2-Volume Deluxe edition, 6.25 x 9.25 inches (15.8 x 23.5 cm), $1,950
    1934 deluxe edition of Mein Kampf with brown quarter leather binding, cloth boards, compartmented spines, gilding on page tops, and three acorns on the front cover and spine. 2000 copies printed and numbered.

  11. #10


    Attachment 1381758
    1934 Deluxe edition, 6.25 x 9.25 inches (15.8 x 23.5 cm), $700
    As previous post, but bound in white linen.

    There is apparently a problem with this photo. I will try to get it posted again. Dwight
    Last edited by drmessimer; 02-17-2020 at 12:18 AM.

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