Secret Nazi Journal Reveals Inner Workings of Third Reich
“Between 1936 and 1944, the Nazi mastermind kept a secret journal detailing his life in the corridors of power.”
ALFRED ROSENBERG was a true believer.
Remembered as the “chief philosopher” of the Third Reich, the Estonian-born National Socialist was member of Adolf Hitler’s early inner circle and helped author some of the party’s most notorious policies. Rosenberg’s fingerprints are on everything from the movement’s notions of Aryan supremacy and the concept of Lebensraum or “Living Space” to its pathological hatred of Jews.
Following the 1933 Nazi take-over of Germany, the 36-year-old intellectual helped run Germany’s foreign ministry and eventually headed up the Reich’s department of ideological education, an agency that would be known as the “Rosenberg Office”. Later, he became chief administrator of Germany’s occupied territories in the Soviet Union. As a Reichsleiter or “national leader”, he was equal in rank with such regime luminaries as Martin Bormann, Joseph Goebbels, Rudolf Hess and Heinrich Himmler.And as Hitler rose to power, so too did Rosenberg.
A prolific writer, Rosenberg was editor of the official Nazi party newspaper, the Völkischer Beobachter,and would go on to produce 13 books. His best-selling Myth of the Twentieth Centurysold a staggering 1 million copies and eventually became the most popular publication in the Third Reich after Hitler’s own Mein Kampf. In it, the self-described “pagan” railed against everything from Jews and Bolshevism to Christianity and Liberal Democracy.
The Devil’s Diary
Between 1936 and 1944, the Nazi mastermind kept a secret journal detailing his life in the corridors of power. In addition to chronicling his political machinations, the book’s 425 hand-written pages contain glimpses into Rosenberg’s twisted racial hatreds, his views on the the conduct of the war and his petty rivalries with party insiders. He even recounts his frequent one-on-one meetings with his infamous boss.Interestingly, Rosenberg penned another book, although this one was not for publication.
One of only three diaries known to have been kept by the top Nazi officials (the others were from Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels and Hans Frank, the governor-general of occupied Poland), Rosenberg’s ramblings would go on to become a veritable treasure-trove of evidence for the Allied prosecutors at the Nuremberg war crimes trials.
Lost and Found
A new book by New York Times bestselling author Robert K. Wittman and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Kinney entitled The Devil’s Diary charts the long search to track down the lost journal, as well as the remarkable story of how it was finally recovered.While excerpts of Rosenberg’s log were read into the record during the famous proceedings, the original page mysteriously vanished after the author went to the gallows in 1946. Amazingly, they turned up in Lewiston, N.Y. in late 2013.
Today, the property of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C.,Rosenberg’s writings are free to view online. In the meantime, the publishers of The Devil’s Diary have compiled excerpts from the memoirs that reveal the dark inner thoughts of one of the Third Reich’s most eccentric minds. Here is a selection:
Read the Remainder at Military History Now