Friday, January 1, 2010

I was just thinking...

Now it's a new year and the beginning of the year is a good time for thought and reflection on things past, present and future. Personally I started the year with peacefully pondering how the meeting between Hitler and his publishers might have played out when he was pitching "My Struggle/Mein Kampf" to them...

Maybe, just maybe, it was something like this:

Hitler sitting together with Hess to discuss his pitch with publisher Max Amann and one of his junior peons. Hitler is a rising star in German politics although not yet the absolute ruler of Germany, but the Max and his peon are loyal members of the NSDAP and don't want to upset their leader.

Hitler: (Excited) Well, so what did you think of the book?
Max: (a bit too enthusiastic) I was just; wow! "Wow, this must be the best book ever" I said to myself, I read it in one sitting
Peon: (filling in) Yeah, I lent it to my wife and she loved it too, it's just amazing!
Hitler: (satisfied) Which part did you like best?
Max: (momentarily off balance) Eh... best? Well, it was all so good, I don't know which part to pick (cold sweat coming from his forehead) (whispering to peon) did you read the goddamn book?
Peon: (whispering back) no... the first chapter was so incredibly dull that I stopped...
Hitler: (impatiently) Well, just pick one!
Max: (stuttering) W-w-w-ell, I really, uh, liked that part where you wrote about the jews and stuff...?
Peon: (eagerly filling in) Yes, I absolutely loved that chapter, so great!
Max: (whispering through his teeth to peon) shut the fuck up!
Hitler: (confused and slightly upset) What chapter are you talking about? I write about the jewish issue in almost all of the chapters? Are you mixing it up with something else?!
Max: (a bit too quick) Yes! I mixed it up with something... else... (quickly switching topic) but have you thought of a title of this brilliant piece of literature yet?
Hitler: (triumphantly beaming) Yes, I've decided to call it "Four and a Half Years of Struggle Against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice"!

(...awkward silence fills the room, Max is scratching his nose, peon is looking down on the floor and Hess is thinking of when would be a good time to go completely crazy and fly to England...)

Hitler: (looking back and forth between Max and peon, facial muscles starting to contort...)
Max: (looking awkward) Eh...
Hitler: (a bit concerned) Well, it's a great title, isn't it?!
Max: (nervously) It's a bit long, don't you think?
Hitler: (passive aggressively) What do you mean? You don't like it?!
Max: (fake smile) Well, personally I love the title, just love it
Peon: (sensing relief) just love it
Max: (getting slightly more confident) but you know Herr Hitler, it's the 1930's now and the kids want more catchy titles on the books. If we look at it again, when it boils down to it, what is the book really about?
Hitler: (offended) Well, it's about my four and a half years of struggle against lies, stupidity and cowardice?!
Max: (sensing a way out) How about we just call it "My Struggle/Mein Kampf"?

I'm not sure if this was how it played out, but I think that I might be pretty close to the mark here...

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