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

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

by Robert K. Wittman, David Kinney

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Overview

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062416896
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/05/2016
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 800
Sales rank: 1,052,795
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.90(d)

About the Author

Robert K. Wittman created the FBI’s Art Crime Team and was the Bureau’s national expert on cultural property theft. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World’s Stolen Treasures and president of Robert Wittman, Inc.

David Kinney is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter whose journalism has appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times. He is 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.

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Vault 1

Lost and Found: 1949-2013

1 The Crusader 11

2 "Everything Gone" 27

3 "To Stare into the Mind of a Dark Soul" 45

Lives in the Balance: 1918-1939

4 "Stepchildren of Fate" 65

5 "The Most Hated Paper in the Land!" 77

6 Night Descends 103

7 "Rosenberg's Path" 123

8 The Diary 147

9 "Clever Workings and Lucky Coincidences" 163

10 "The Time Isn't Ripe for Me Yet" 173

11 Exile in Tuscany 193

12 "I Had Won Over the Old Party's Heart" 209

13 Escape 227

At War: 1939-1946

14 "The Burden of What's to Come" 239

15 On the Make 255

16 Thieves in Paris 265

17 "Rosenberg, Your Great Hour Has Now Arrived" 289

18 "Special Tasks" 311

19 "Our Own Tragic Special Destiny" 333

20 Nazis Next Door 341

21 The Chaostministerium 351

22 "A Ruin" 371

23 "Loyal to Him to the End" 391

Epilogue 433

Acknowledgments 437

Appendix A A Third Reich Timeline 439

Appendix B Cast of Characters 443

Notes 447

Selected Bibliography 485

Index 495

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