Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Filched Rosenberg Diaries Recovered

Filched Rosenberg Diaries Recovered

The U.S. Government has announced the recovery of 400 pages from the long-lost diary of Alfred Rosenberg, a Reich minister who was convicted at Nuremberg and hanged in 1946. The announcement was accompanied by a cryptic statement prepared by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

"A cursory content analysis indicates that the material sheds new light on a number of important issues relating to the Third Reich's policy. The diary will be an important source of information to historians that compliments, and in part contradicts, already known documentation."

How the writings of Rosenberg might contradict already known documentation is unclear. Further details about the diary's contents could not be learned, and a U.S. government official stressed that the museum's analysis remains preliminary.

The Diaries had been held by the Nuremberg prosecution team. It now appears that they were swiped by US prosecutor Robert Kempner. Ironically, Rosenberg was charged with stealing cultural artifacts. There is also no mention of returning Mr. Rosenberg's papers to his family

David Irving blew the whistle on Kempner years ago.  "Well it was pretty clear (and he did not deny) that he had stolen the entire diary of Alfred Rosenberg from the Nuremberg archives and was retaining it as his private property. The Rosenberg Diaries are a fund of true information on Hitler and the Holocaust; they are of enormous importance -- but where are they now? We await an early answer from the Holocaust Memorial Museum." 

American prosecutor Robert Kempner
about the time he stole the documents. 1946
Kempner died in 1993 at age 93 and legal disputes about "his" papers raged for nearly a decade between his children, his former secretary, a local debris removal contractor and the Holocaust museum. Why a debris removal contractor was involved was not explained.

The Diaries consist of various papers written on the back of official stationary and on paper torn from a ledger book. The announcement also read, "Most entries are written in Rosenberg's looping cursive...,.No mention of who might have made additional entries and what they said was given.  How the various pages are connected chronologically was not revealed. It was not disclosed if there are any missing pages.

Why Kempner stashed Rosenberg's papers away for years was not disclosed either, but Kempner is credited as the "discoverer" of the draft memo presented at Nuremberg as the Wannsee Protocol.  More information may be announced this week at a news conference held jointly by officials from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Justice and Holocaust museum.

 Kempner was almost certainly responsible for the attempt to conceal the Schlegelberger document from posterity the March 1942 Schlegelberger Document, in which a hard-pressed Adolf Hitler ordered the postponement of the Final Solution of the Jewish Problem until after the war. (The document was missing from the five-item folder of photocopies, ND: 4025-PS, after he returned it to the Nuremberg Trial archives; fortunately the original folder was found intact thirty years later in the Federal Archives). Since Mr. Irving first published the document in Hitler's War, 1977, conformist historians have had a hard time explaining it away."


Anonymous said...

How long do you think the US HMM is going to keep
the papers under wraps?

Anonymous said...

"a hard-pressed Adolf Hitler"

That is a dishonest misrepresentation of what Hitler said and thought at the time in early 1942 when that item was written. Hitler's assumptions in early 1942, which are well-documented through all of his memos, table talk, speeches and what not, were that the Soviet Union would easily collapse that summer in the face of a renewed German offensive. When Hitler commented in early 1942 about postponing the Final Solution to the Jewish Question until after the war was over he was not envisioning a war that would grind on for more than 3 more years. He was talking under the assumption that the Soviet Union would fall apart in the face of the Third Reich's summer offensives and then by the fall of 1942 at the latest the Final Solution could begin. Hitler had originally expected before June 22, 1941, that Operation Barbarossa would be all wrapped up within six weeks or less. It was a shock to him when the Wehrmacht did not win an easy quick victory in the summer of 1941. But once he had adjusted to that, he went on to assume that once the winter of 1941-2 had ended that he would wrap up the war very fast. Whatever one may wish to argue about what was going on in Treblinka in the summer of 1942 or Auschwitz in 1943, that specific document from the early months of 1942 tells us nothing one way or another. The point is that Hitler's behavior began to change once it became clear that the USSR was not going to collapse very swiftly. So you can not conclude anything either way from that document.