The sequel to Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf is to be published in English later this year.
The book, which has no title and will be published simply as Hitler’s Second Book, was dictated during 1928 but never published. Instead, it was kept in the safe of the Nazi publishing house, where it was found by American troops in 1945.
At the time, it was not recognised for what it was and taken back to America. There, it was stored along with many other German documents in an old torpedo factory at Alexandria in Virginia.
The manuscript was rediscovered there in the summer of 1958 by Gerhard Weinberg, now emeritus professor of 20th century history at the University of North Carolina.
Prof Weinberg, himself a Jew who lost members of his family in the Holocaust, was then a 30-year-old assistant professor at Kentucky University who had heard suggestions of the existence of a sequel to Mein Kampf.
“There had been a couple of references to it,” he said. “One by Hitler’s secretary to a French intelligence officer.”
He was looking through the documents in the old torpedo factory when he found a typescript marked “draft of Mein Kampf” which was the sequel.
A German version was published in 1961 and Prof Weinberg planned to bring out an English version around that time. But an inaccurate and poorly translated bootlegged version was rushed into print by a rival publisher.
This pirate edition was criticised for its unreliability and soon went out of print but its appearance killed off the plans for a proper, fully annotated translation.
Then, two years ago, an editor from Enigma Books, a small American publisher, met Prof Weinberg about another book. After learning of the sequel, he agreed to publish it.
Prof Weinberg said: “It seems to me remarkable that one of the most central figures of the 20th century wrote all of two books and one hasn’t been published in a reliable English-language edition.”
The book, which deals with Hitler’s vision of Nazi foreign policy, makes it clear that he was not simply content, as some have argued, to reoccupy German lands lost after the First World War.
He envisaged the German people becoming involved in a series of wars for Lebensraum, culminating in an epic battle against America.
A complete chapter on “Germany and England” makes clear his admiration for the British and his hope that they might prove to be an ally.