The Devil's Diary: Alfred Rosenberg and the Stolen Secrets of the Third Reich

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9780062319012: The Devil's Diary: Alfred Rosenberg and the Stolen Secrets of the Third Reich

A groundbreaking World War II narrative wrapped in a riveting detective story, The Devil’s Diary investigates the disappearance of a private diary penned by one of Adolf Hitler’s top aides—Alfred Rosenberg, his “chief philosopher”—and mines its long-hidden pages to deliver a fresh, eye-opening account of the Nazi rise to power and the genesis of the Holocaust

An influential figure in Adolf Hitler’s early inner circle from the start, Alfred Rosenberg made his name spreading toxic ideas about the Jews throughout Germany. By the dawn of the Third Reich, he had published a bestselling masterwork that was a touchstone of Nazi thinking.

His diary was discovered hidden in a Bavarian castle at war’s end—five hundred pages providing a harrowing glimpse into the mind of a man whose ideas set the stage for the Holocaust. Prosecutors examined it during the Nuremberg war crimes trial, but after Rosenberg was convicted, sentenced, and executed, it mysteriously vanished.

New York Times bestselling author Robert K. Wittman, who as an FBI agent and then a private consultant specialized in recovering artifacts of historic significance, first learned of the diary in 2001, when the chief archivist for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum contacted him to say that someone was trying to sell it for upwards of a million dollars. The phone call sparked a decade-long hunt that took them on a twisting path involving a pair of octogenarian secretaries, an eccentric professor, and an opportunistic trash-picker. From the crusading Nuremberg prosecutor who smuggled the diary out of Germany to the man who finally turned it over, everyone had reasons for hiding the truth.

Drawing on Rosenberg’s entries about his role in the seizure of priceless artwork and the brutal occupation of the Soviet Union, his conversations with Hitler and his endless rivalries with Göring, Goebbels, and Himmler, The Devil’s Diary offers vital historical insight of unprecedented scope and intimacy into the innermost workings of the Nazi regime—and into the psyche of the man whose radical vision mutated into the Final Solution.

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A groundbreaking World War II narrative wrapped in a riveting detective story, The Devil’s Diary investigates the disappearance of a private diary penned by one of Adolf Hitler’s top aides—Alfred Rosenberg, his “chief philosopher”—and mines its long-hidden pages to deliver an eye-opening account of the Nazi rise to power and the genesis of the Holocaust.

The diary was discovered hidden in a Bavarian castle at war’s end, but after Rosenberg was convicted of war crimes at Nuremberg and executed, the pages mysteriously vanished. More than half a century later, Robert K. Wittman learned of the diary when the chief archivist for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum contacted him at the FBI to say that someone was trying to sell it for more than a million dollars. The phone call sparked a decade-long hunt. From the crusading Nuremberg prosecutor who smuggled the diary out of Germany to the man who finally turned it over, everyone had reasons for hiding the truth.

About the Author:

Robert K. Wittman created the FBI’s Art Crime Team and was the Bureau’s national expert on cultural property crime. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Priceless. David Kinney is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of The Big One and The Dylanologists.



David Kinney is a Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter whose journalism has appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times. He is the author of The Big One: An Island, an Obsession, and the Furious Pursuit of a Great Fish and The Dylanologists: Adventures in the Land of Bob.

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Book Description Hardcover. Book Condition: New. This exploration of the private wartime diary of Alfred Rosenberg—Hitler’s "chief philosopher" and architect of Nazi ideology—interweaves the story of its recent discovery with the revelation of its never-before-published contents, which are contextualized by the authors: The result is a unprecedented, page-turning narrative of the Nazi rise to power, the Holocaust, and Hitler’s post-invasion plans for Russia.A groundbreaking historical contribution, The Devil’s Diary is a chilling window into the mind of Adolf Hitler’s "chief social philosopher," Alfred Rosenberg, who formulated some of the guiding principles behind the Third Reich’s genocidal crusade. It also chronicles the thrilling detective hunt for the diary, which disappeared after the Nuremburg Trials and remained lost for almost three quarters of a century, until Robert Wittman, a former FBI special agent who founded the Bureau’s Art Crimes Team, played an important role and tells his story now for the first time.The authors expertly and deftly contextualize more than 400 pages of entries stretching from 1936 through 1944, in which the loyal Hitler advisor recounts internal meetings with the Fürher and his close associates Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler; describes the post-invasion occupation of the Soviet Union; considers the "solution" to the "Jewish question;" and discusses his overseeing of the mass seizure and cataloguing of books and artwork from homes, libraries, and museums across occupied Europe. An eyewitness to events, this narrative of Rosenberg’s diary offers provocative and intimate insights into pivotal moments in the war and the notorious Nazi who laid the philosophical foundations of the Third Reich. Bookseller Inventory # 115410773

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