Niagara Gazette — WILMINGTON, Del. — Federal authorities have recovered about 400 handwritten pages from the wartime diary of a key Nazi adviser to Adolf Hitler after a 17-year search for the documents, officials said Thursday.
Alfred Rosenberg played a significant role in the slaughter of millions of Jews and other non-Aryans considered inferior under the Third Reich. He was convicted of war crimes at the Nuremberg trials after World War II and executed in 1946.
Officials from the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department joined officials from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum for a news conference Thursday to outline how they found the documents, which cover the years 1936 to 1944.
Gerhard Weinberg, professor emeritus of history at the University of North Carolina and a leading historian on the Nazi era, said the diary could shed new light on Rosenberg's role in administering the occupied eastern territories, and his relationships with other high-ranking Nazi officials.
Museum officials wrote in a Web posting Thursday that the documents provide valuable information, as Rosenberg helped orchestrate the looting of artwork and other valuables from Nazi-occupied territory during that the time.
"Its discovery will undoubtedly give scholars new insight into the politics of Nazi leaders and fulfills a museum commitment to uncover evidence from perpetrators of the Holocaust," the posting said.
Researchers have yet to begin a thorough examination of Rosenberg's diary. But Henry Mayer, a senior adviser on archives for the Holocaust museum, suggested that it will offer some "amazing new evidence" and that he believes some of the material will contradict written history.
Rosenberg, a Nazi ideologue and propagandist, was the author of "The Myth of the Twentieth Century," a 1930 book espousing the superiority of Aryan culture over the Jewish race. He later led the Nazi Party's foreign affairs department and rose through the party hierarchy to become Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories in 1941.