Mein Kampf ("My Struggle")
Throughout the novel, Hitler addresses the struggles he experienced in his youth as well as the numerous German struggles in the aftermath of World War I. Hitler writes, “obstacles do not exist to be surrendered to, but only to be broken" (Hitler 21). The theme of his novel is shown clearly through this quote: one who works hard to fight obstacles will be more successful in the long run compared to one who gives in to the pain and surrenders. Germany's main obstacle in the 20th century came with the severe loss in World War I; Hitler kept his ideology that obstacles should not limit anyone or anything, so he dehumanized the Jews, homosexuals, and disabled in the horrendous Holocaust, a genocide killing over 11 million civilians. This was his solution to the tribulations Germany faced as he believed that these vulnerable groups were responsible for the intense German suffering after World War I.
Hitler's interpretation of solving the German problems through genocide was a false narrative of his ideology of working hard to overcome barriers. Instead of working hard, in the face of adversity, to improve the conditions and infrastructure of war torn Germany, Hitler catalyzed communal action by blaming the Jews and other vulnerable groups in Germany for the devastation and loss in World War I. Ultimately, he was unsuccessful as he triggered World War II further crippling Germany.
This message, given in 1923, continues to be applicable in the contemporary era as groups and individuals continue resorting to violence to solve their issues. A strong example of this is the Radical Islamic groups in the Middle East who turn to terrorism to solve their problems. These groups experience an impoverished life, exploitation from stronger countries, and, ultimately, hopelessness, provoking them to attack civilians and other countries, hoping that their problems will disappear. In the end, the fear from civilians and foreigners leads "peace seeking strongholds" like the United States and UN militaries to attack these terrorist groups continuing the violent cycle of despair replenished by fear instead of collaborating to solve their issues.
I have applied Hitler's message of staying diligent and working hard to overcome obstacles many times in my life; for example, in 7th grade, I forgot to do a major grade essay in Texas History, and my grade dropped drastically. Instead of making excuses and procrastinating, I stayed up all night finishing the essay; in the face of adversity, I kept working hard regardless of the struggle of exhaustion.
Hitler's message resonates strongly, and, as it did in the 20th century, it continues to be misinterpreted by groups who resort to violence as a solution. However, if one stays optimistic in the face of adversity, and works hard, he/she will be more successful in the long run compared to one who takes the easy route.