With all of the hoo-hah surrounding Donald Trump at the moment for his comment about putting American Muslims on some sort of register that he totally said, like twice, before denying it, and all of the connotations of Hitler such a comment rightfully invokes, it’s probably a good time to remind everyone of that time in 1990 when it was revealed Trump literally slept with a copy of Hitler’ s speeches within arms reach.
The speeches in question came in the form of a book called, My New Order, a collection of Hitler’s more memorable rants from prior to WW2. Though undeniably awful because it features some of Hitler’s most repugnant, hate-filled quotes and diatribes, most copies of the book exist more as a commentary on Hitler’s rise to power than a glorification of his words, often featuring lengthy deconstructions by experts that provide historical context to the subject of many of the speeches. As such, it’s not that weird for a person to own a copy if they have say, an interest in politics or history since it provides a rare insight into the life of one of the most well-known and hated figures of the 20th century.
That said, if someone handed you a copy of this book out of the blue and said “I saw this collection of speeches by Hitler and it really struck me as something you’d enjoy!“, you’d probably think that was a little weird, right, like you’d accept the present but probably keep it in a drawer somewhere under a pile of socks or something? Well, that exact thing happened to Donald Trump back in the late 80’s when his friend from Paramount Pictures, Marty Davis gave the blow-hard businessman a copy, because, and we quote he though he’d “find it interesting” and rather than putting it on a shelf flanked by books filled with drawings of dicks, he put it in a drawer next to his bed.
Obviously owning a book with Hitler’s name on it, even if it is one designed to critique the shit out of his words and rhetoric is a sensitive subject and Trump dealt with it in typical, magnanimous fashion when the subject of him keeping a copy by his bed was raised in a 1990 interview by saying that he’d Davis had actually given him a copy of Mein Kamph, but it was okay because “he’s a Jew“. Davis, when asked about this, clarified by saying “I’m his friend, but I’m not Jewish” which doesn’t really paint them as very close friends, but whatever and added that it was indeed a collection of Hitler’s speeches he’d given Trump, not a copy of Mein Kamph.
After dodging the question with all the finesse of a gymnast being mauled by a epileptic bear, Trump broached the subject of Hitler again later in the interview, invoking the first known real life example of Godwin’s law ever recorded and proving our personal theory that Trump is actually a walking Reddit thread come to life, just to say:
“If I had these speeches, and I am not saying that I do, I would never read them.”
Which somehow makes Trump seem like more of an ignorant dickhead. As we’ve already noted, many, if not all copies of this book feature background information on why Hitler said the things he did and offer an insight into why he was such an effective propagandist and public speaker as well as extended commentaries on why he was such an asshole. Reading this book doesn’t mean you’re a Neo Nazi any more than reading a racist YouTube comment makes you a member of the Ku Klux Klan because it’s possible for people to read things they disagree with for the purpose of critique. Studying one of the most evil men in history doesn’t make you a bad guy because there are history professors with amazing beards all over the country being paid big money to do that right now, openly bragging about being wilfully uninformed about one of the biggest human events of the last century however, just makes you seem, like, well, a dick.
But hey, this is all in the past and we wouldn’t want the fact that Donald Trump was personally given a copy of Hitler’s speeches by a friend 25 years ago sour your opinion of him because it’s not like he’s ever tried to use someone’s past against them. We mean, if Obama had a book full of Hitler’s speeches next to his bed, we’re sure Trump would never mention it or bring it up in interviews, he’s mature like that.