Skip To Content

Oops! A Fox anchor said Karl Marx wrote ‘Mein Kampf’

There are moments in literary history that shape the world. Around 1445 B.C.E. unnamed sources composed the first books of the Bible. In 1450 Johannes Gutenberg perfected his printing press. Thomas Paine publishes “Common Sense” in 1776. And in 1848, Karl Marx wrote “Mein Kampf” — at least that’s what one Fox anchor said.

On Tuesday at the end of a segment about whether critical race theory should be taught in elementary schools, “America’s Newsroom” co-anchor Bill Hemmer recalled, apropos of very little, searching for Marx’s home in Trier, Germany while in college “cause, you know [in] 1848 he wrote ’Mein Kampf.’ Want to know what it was all about.” Us too, Bill!

Hemmer, who later acknowledged that he meant “The Communist Manifesto,” misspoke. But boy howdy was this a wild mistake! The rub comes in when we consider that Marx, while baptized Christian and not immune from anti-Jewish animus himself, was the grandson of rabbis on both his father and mother’s side. So even if he had his issues with the Jews, saying he wrote this particular screed is a bit much, never mind the fact that it debuted some 40 years after Marx’s death and tells another guy’s life story.

The authorship naturally becomes all the more mystifying given what “Mein Kampf” has to say about Marxists!

Some on Twitter wondered how far Hemmer’s initial confusion might extend, with David Simon offering this waggish correction:

It’s entirely possible and maybe even likely this was a simple mistake on Hemmer’s part. Still, given how often it’s repeated in rightwing circles that Nazis were socialists, and the regular vilification of Communism as the Great Evil, it’s not unreasonable to have suspicions about intent.

But I have more questions. Did Hemmer ever find the Marx homestead — a museum and landmark that is quite easy to find? Does he often have this kind of critical brain fart, say, showing up for a seat for “The Ring Cycle” and walking out when they don’t play Mahler? Is his Amazon cart gunked up by returns of the “The Turner Diaries” cause he always blanks on the name of a Chaim Potok book at checkout?

In any case, next time Hemmer takes a trip to Germany, he may want to bring a Rick Steves guide with him — and maybe a better bibliography.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.