On July 18, 1925, the first volume of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” was released in Germany. While it was poorly written and few high-ranking Nazis were said to have actually read it, “Mein Kampf” became required reading in nearly every German house after Hitler’s rise to power.
Donated by Barbara & Ira A. Lipman and on permanent display at the Museum of Tolerance, this two-volume set of “Mein Kampf” is signed and inscribed by Adolf Hitler to Mr. Wilhelm Holzwarth in 1925.
An early admirer of Hitler, Wilhelm Holzwarth joined the Nazi party in 1920. After the failed coup to take over the Bavarian government in 1923, Hitler was jailed and the Nazi party was dissolved. When the party was reorganized in 1925, Holzwarth was one of the first to rejoin and was awarded party membership #20.
A farmer by profession, Holzwarth eventually ran afoul of the party for criticizing its perceived lack of interest in agriculture. He soon received death threats from an unknown source after outing gay members of the party. In 1937, the party's supreme court referred to Holzwarth as “the greatest scoundrel who ever crept into the movement.” However, when Holzwarth showed his copy of “Mein Kampf” signed by Hitler in 1925, he was very much in the future Fuhrer’s good graces.
These books, along with many other artifacts are part of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s vast archival holdings.