Tuesday, February 07, 2017

The first Arabic (published) translation of Hitler's Mein Kampf

It was translated in 1963 by none other than the right-wing Lebanese sectarian writer, Lewis Al-Hajj (the editor-in-chief for many decades of An-Nahar newspaper).  The edition that is now available in the Arab world is his translation, by the way (resissued by Beissan bookshop in Beirut).  In the introduction to that edition, Al-Hajj tries basically credits the Nazi regime for effectively combatting socialist ideas.  Ironically, the same Phalanges and their affiliates who aligned with Israel during the Lebanese civil war were the most anti-Semitic among Lebanese groups (they incorporated the classical Catholic church anti-Semitism). Of course, there is still that translation which was commissioned by the German Nazi government to Shakib Arsalan (maternal grandfather of Walid Jumblat) but was never released by the German government for unknown reasons.  Jumblat must still have the manuscript.  The German editions had to delete the racist references to Arabs and to change the term anti-Semitism to anti-Jewishness.

PS I forgot to mention that Al-Hajj did not even translate from the original German but from the French translation, to my knowledge.