“I don't do it for the Reichsmark. I've already got more than I'll ever need. I do it to do it. Propaganda is my art form. Some people make Linzertortes, I make swastikas. Preferably big swastikas. That's how I get my kicks.”
-From an early draft of Mein Kampf
By 1930, Adolf Hitler's spunky self-portrait had elevated him from artist-dreamer to best-selling author. His name is on the cover of that book. But there is another name hidden in the memoir's title. Along with the golden letters spelling out “Hitler” is the word “Kampf,” as in Myron Kampf, the book's ghostwriter.
“I made The Adolf much more appealing than he really is. Am I proud of that? Maybe a little.”
Mr. Kampf rarely seeks the spotlight, but lately he feels compelled to speak out. “I'm a little concerned by the Fuhrer's spin on genocide and world domination.” The ghostwriter, who spent months observing Hitler, insists that the lovable rapscallion of Mein Kampf bears little resemblance to its alleged author.
“I made The Adolf much more appealing than he really is. Am I proud of that? Maybe a little. I mean, take Churchill — anyone can make Churchill look good. Baby face? Check. Cute little bow-tie? Check. Afternoon naps? Check. But to turn Herr Wolf into a pussycat — that's writing.”
Myron Kampf was so pleased with his contribution, he couldn't resist sneaking his name into the title.
“It began as a joke, just to see if he was paying attention. But Adolf liked Mein Kampf — my struggle — he thought it fit. ‘Me against them' — that was his motto. ‘Such a nasty race,' he'd say. ‘The whole gene pool is rigged against me.'”
Winner of the prestigious Haman Award, Mein Kampf is now required reading in schools and restaurants.
“I created Hitler,” Kampf says ruefully. “Not only did I put lipstick on the pig, I gave the pig a shave. Really, before me, he was just a scruffy artist. Can you imagine the leader of the Third Reich with side curls?”
Since admitting authorship of what is considered the Bible of the Nazi party (he also wrote Ponderlust, a collection of poetry), Kampf has been branded “Dr. Frankenstein,” accused of turning a pretentious artist into an even greater monster.
“Let's not get carried away,” he cautions. “There's a big difference between mass appeal and mass murder. I may have helped him get the gig, but it was the Fuhrer who made Survivor a household word.”
So, if Myron Kampf could do it all over again, would he?
“What am I, a masochist? Mein Kampf was my struggle, every day. If you haven't noticed, our beloved Father has the attention span of a gnat. Or gnatzi, as I call him. Which makes him totally unfit to rule. The man can rant, I'll give him that. But what kind of Übermensch can't have a heart to heart? What this country needs is a little less Über and a little more mensch.”