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Thread: Reichsleiter Alfred Rosenberg's Diary (Transcript)

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    Thumbs Up Reichsleiter Alfred Rosenberg's Diary (Transcript)

    Note: The transcript comprises the German text of Alfred Rosenberg’s diary entries from 1936 to 1944. It does not include his entries from 1934 to 1935, held at the National Archives and Records Administration, or related documents, annotations, or references to already published portions of the diary. Deletions and emphases in the transcript resemble the original; square brackets enclose transcriber comments on legibility and style. The transcript has not been finalized for spelling ambiguities (especially regarding names) and other peculiarities of the original.

    View scans of individual pages of the diary alongside a transcript of the original

    The more than 400 pages of loose-leaf paper cover the years 1936 through 1944

    Rosenberg was more than just a writer: from 1923 onwards he edited the party’s daily newspaper, and in 1928 he founded and ran a crusading organisation, the Fighting League for German Culture, dedicated to rooting out degenerate art, books, plays and other cultural products from the German public scene.

    During the war he headed up the Reichsleiter Rosenberg Task Force

    According to the task force itself, bureaucratic in its precision, its loot filled 1,418,000 railway trucks. Following the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, Rosenberg was made minister for the occupied eastern territories

    While he was in prison, Rosenberg wrote an autobiography, published in 1955, in which, far from showing any sign of remorse, he reasserted his belief that “National Socialism was a European answer to the question of this century … It was a genuine social world view and an ideal of blood-conditioned cultural purity.”

    It has long been known that Rosenberg, unlike almost all the other leading Nazis – men of action in their own minds, not men of words – kept a diary. Extracts were published in 1956 under the editorship of another Baltic German, the librarian Hans-Günther Seraphim. They had found their way from the documentary collection assembled for the Nuremberg trials into the library for which he was responsible at the University of Göttingen.

    But this left unresolved the question of the whereabouts of the rest of the diary. Seraphim knew that it had been taken away by Robert W Kempner, a German-Jewish lawyer who had been deprived of his citizenship and exiled by the Nazis, and had returned from the US to play a leading part in the prosecutions at Nuremberg.

    Believing he was authorised to remove the full diary for research purposes, Kempner took it back to his home in America, intending to publish it or use it as the basis for a book. But he still hadn’t done this by the time he died in 1993, and when researchers for the recently founded US Holocaust Memorial Museum arrived at his house in 1997, they found it had disappeared.

    Tangled up in disputes over Kempner’s will, the diary had entered the murky world of dealers in Nazi memorabilia, and it took many more years until a police raid was able to recover it, leading to its publication in 2015. Source
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