A reputed quote by Adolph Hitler has been trending on social media. The Fuhrer supposedly wrote the following in Mein Kampf: “The State must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and any deprivation.”
Isn’t it crazy how often Dems use kids to push their agenda? (Guns, immigration...)
“As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.”
— Tyler Zed (@realTylerZed) June 17, 2018
I was asked to verify whether the quote is true. To do this, I called up a PDF version of Mein Kampf “Auf Deutsch,” pressed “control F” and typed in “Kind,” the German word for child.
The word “Kind” appears 95 times in Mein Kampf. Adolph Hitler clearly has a great interest in policies which encourage Germans to have children. On page 48, for example, he castigates the political bourgeoisie for rejecting child-friendly Social Democratic measures such as maternity leave or prohibition on child labor.
The first sentence of the alleged quote can be found on page 446, as part of a chapter entitled “The State”.
“Er hat das Kind zum kostbarsten Gut eines Volkes zu erklaeren.” (“The State must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people.”)
That sentence is clearly present in the text.
But the second sentence in the so-called English translation is a fabrication. This is the sentence which follows in German: “Er muss dafuer sorgen, dass nur, wer gesund ist, Kinder zeugt.” (“The state must insure that only those who are healthy have children.”
In the paragraph which follows on page 446 and 447, Hitler asserts that the state must ensure that those who are sick or weak should not reproduce. At the same time, the state must do everything to see that “blessing of children does not become a curse.”
He argues that the state must provide financial incentives for Germans to have large families: “Seine Sorge gehoert mehr dem Kinde als dem Erwachsenen.” (The State is “the most important patron of this precious blessing of a people. Its concern should be focused more on the child than on the grown up.”)
The second half of the alleged quote—“As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and any deprivation”—cannot be found in the text of Mein Kampf.
I am not sure what the fabricators had in mind with this alleged quote. Is it supposed to be some sort of “lesson for the future”? A warning about politicians pretending to protect the children while undermining democracy? I have no idea.
What I am relatively certain of: Hitler never said it.