Kim Jong Un Gives Mein Kampf as Birthday Present

Orders senior officials to study Third Reich
By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2013 5:28 PM CDT
Kim Jong Un Gives Mein Kampf as Birthday Present
Adolf Hitler's infamous memoir "Mein Kampf" is presented during a news conference in Nuremberg, southern Germany, Tuesday, April 24, 2012. The German state of Bavaria says it's preparing for the expiry in 2015 of the copyright on Adolf Hitler's infamous memoir "Mein Kampf" by supporting the preparation...   (AP Photo/dapd, Lennart Preiss)

On his birthday this year, Kim Jong Un reportedly gave every child in North Korea candy, according to CNBC. So what did he get his top officials? Copies of Hitler's Mein Kampf, the Washington Post reports. The gift was part of a larger effort by Kim to encourage military leaders to study Germany's post-WWI reconstruction, and follow rumors that Kim carefully studied Hitler while attending school in Switzerland. "Mentioning that Hitler managed to rebuild Germany in a short time following its defeat in World War I, Kim Jong Un issued an order for the Third Reich to be studied in depth and asked that practical applications be drawn from it," a North Korean source told New Focus International.

As the Post points out, his leaders are unlikely to pick up many concrete lessons from the famously rambling tome. (Though the source tells New Focus that Kim has been vocal about what he sees as one lesson: that sports were key to Germany's unity.) Still, it notes, there are some parallels between the two countries. And word is that Kim is attempting to make himself over with a tough new image. "One source says there have been many overt attempts to imbue Kim Jong Un with an 'intimidating charisma,' such as having him shout very forcefully at associates (Kim Jong Il was never seen to do such a thing) and even throwing things at people," a New Focus editor tells the Post. (More Kim Jong Un stories.)

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