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The Devil's Diary: Alfred Rosenberg and the Stolen Secrets of the Third Reich
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Harper 2016
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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 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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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
03/29/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780062319036
ASIN:
B00PQRH7VC
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Robert K. Wittman. (2016). The Devil's Diary: Alfred Rosenberg and the Stolen Secrets of the Third Reich. Harper.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Robert K. Wittman. 2016. The Devil's Diary: Alfred Rosenberg and the Stolen Secrets of the Third Reich. Harper.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Robert K. Wittman, The Devil's Diary: Alfred Rosenberg and the Stolen Secrets of the Third Reich. Harper, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Robert K. Wittman. The Devil's Diary: Alfred Rosenberg and the Stolen Secrets of the Third Reich. Harper, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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        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.

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        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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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,...

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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 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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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Daily Beast
      • content: "Mesmerizing."
      • premium: False
      • source: New York Journal of Books
      • content: "This volume cannot be recommended too highly. It is another smoking gun with which to condemn the Third Reich and further serves to reinforce what has become a 70-year mantra: We should never forget nor, more importantly, repeat man's worst inhumanity to man."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus Reviews
      • content: "A fascinating scholarly detective story centering on the often overlooked ideological architect of the Third Reich...The authors do an excellent job of teasing out the fine details and placing them in the larger context...A footnote to a much larger story but a welcome one."
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist
      • content: "The efforts to recover [the diary] make up the most interesting part of art-crime expert Wittman and Pulitzer-winning Kinney's frequently riveting, serpentine account featuring a Nuremberg prosecutor, a museum archivist, and an FBI agent...The authors have provided an engrossing tale of a detective-style search."
      • premium: False
      • source: Barnes and Noble Reads
      • content: "The Devil's Diary is the story of the diary, its eventual recovery, and its harrowing content, providing an intense look at one of the major architects of the Holocaust."
      • premium: False
      • source: Joaquin "Jack" Garcia, New York Times bestselling author of Making Jack Falcone
      • content: "The Devil's Diary has all the elements of a great book: a hugely influential but forgotten confidant of Adolf Hitler, a long-lost Nazi journal, and a crusading Jewish lawyer who spent his life at war with the leading men of the Third Reich."
      • premium: False
      • source: Neal Bascomb, national bestselling author of Hunting Eichmann and The Winter Fortress
      • content: "The Devil's Diary is a very rewarding read. While exposing in fresh, stunning detail the role Alfred Rosenberg played in the Holocaust, Kinney and Wittman also reveal the oft-tangled but fascinating world where history is recorded and written. Well done!"
      • premium: False
      • source: Jack El-Hai, author of The Nazi and the Psychiatrist
      • content: "Alfred Rosenberg...arises in horrific clarity in Wittman and Kinney's engrossing book. Rosenberg's personal writings, which were nearly lost to history, receive a dramatic interpretation in The Devil's Diary. It's an intriguing read for anyone fascinated by the personalities of Nazi Germany."
      • premium: False
      • source: Roger Moorehouse, author of Killing Hitler, Berlin at War, and The Devil's Alliance
      • content: "The Devil's Diary is lively and well written. Part detective story, part history book, it restores Rosenberg to his rightful place in the narrative, a man...who was profoundly influential, not least in providing what meagre intellectual underpinning Nazism could muster...a fascinating read."
      • premium: False
      • source: Library Journal
      • content: "Those with an interest in German history will find this narrative engaging."
      • premium: False
      • source: New York Times on Priceless
      • content: "A rollicking memoir... investigative details dazzle... Priceless can read at times, not unpleasantly, as if an art history textbook got mixed up at the printer with a screenplay for The Wire."
      • premium: False
      • source: Washington Post on Priceless
      • content: "Almost every case he recounts has enough intrigue and suspense for a Hollywood screenplay."
      • premium: False
      • source: Los Angeles Times on Priceless
      • content: "Genius...riveting...should be a TV series."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from April 25, 2016
        Wittman (Priceless), a former FBI investigative expert on cultural property crime, joins forces with journalist Kinney (The Dylanologists) to share the engrossing story of former Nazi Alfred Rosenberg, his diary, and the lengths historians had to go to in order to get their hands on it. Rosenberg, a virulent anti-Semite with a deep need for attention and status, found kindred souls in the Nazi party and had a profound influence on Hitler during his rise to power. In 1934, Rosenberg began a diary that he kept current through the end of WWII. It was packed with details of the party's inner workings. Robert Kempner, a lawyer and Social Democrat who escaped Germany, ended up in the U.S. and landed a gig in the War Department where he helped prosecute Rosenberg, among others. Kempner took possession of Rosenberg's diary, but it was essentially "lost" for decades. Kempner disavowed ownership of it, and after his death his heirs went to extraordinary lengths to keep it secret. Wittman and Kinney's chronicle of the efforts historians took to gain access to the diary feels like it's pulled from a movie, especially when they add in Rosenberg's story. This is an outstanding piece of journalism. Agent: Larry Weissman, Larry Weissman Literary.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        March 1, 2016

        Best-selling author and former FBI agent Wittman, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Kinney here team up to focus on the history and impact of the long-awaited recovery of the diary of Alfred Rosenberg (1893-1946), a leading player of the Third Reich, whose anti-Semitic ideologies influenced Adolf Hitler himself. In 2013 the journal was discovered after decades of ambiguity concerning its location. Robert Kempner, a Nazi opponent and prosecutor in the Nuremberg Trials, stole the diary and thousands of other original Nazi artifacts for his personal collection. Years later, Wittman and Henry Mayer, chief archivist at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum managed to recover these items and analyze their content. Though marketed as "a game-changing World War II narrative wrapped in a riveting detective story," this work's modern crime content is slim. Furthermore, while the revelation of the diary contributes significant insight into the backdrop of World War II, the story appears to be contextualized with unrelated historical details. VERDICT These faults aside, those with an interest in German history will find this narrative engaging. [See Prepub Alert, 8/1/15.]--Marian Mays, Washington Talking Book & Braille Lib., Seattle

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        February 1, 2016
        A fascinating scholarly detective story centering on the often overlooked ideological architect of the Third Reich, who could never be made to "accept the notion that the ideas he had trumpeted had led to genocide." Bound up in this study of Alfred Rosenberg (1893-1946), whose influence on Nazi policy was constant until a late-in-the-game falling-out with Hitler, is a tale of how his diary wound up in the United States, now in the holdings of the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. That tale involves a Jewish lawyer who, ousted from his post in the German government by Hermann Goring, ended up in the U.S. advising the FBI and eventually returning to Germany to work for the prosecution at the Nuremberg trials. Robert Kempner (1899-1993) was no less diligent an archivist than the Nazi regime he detested, and, write former FBI investigator Wittman (Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World's Stolen Treasures, 2010) and journalist Kinney (The Dylanologists, 2014, etc.), he "spent four years immersed in the documentary evidence of the Nazi crimes." Moreover, brilliant as a researcher and litigator while also a first-class hoarder, he squirrelled away some of that documentary evidence in his own archives, including Rosenberg's diary. The picture that long-missing diary affords of those Nazi crimes does not remake our understanding, but it certainly adds to it. When Rosenberg grimly writes, "some still haven't yet understood...that things have to be calculated differently now," he is signaling the onset of the extermination of Europe's Jews. The two narrative threads--one tracking Rosenberg across two decades of Nazi activism and the other examining the fortunes of his diary--don't always line up neatly, and the storyline sometimes has a stop-and-go quality. However, the authors do an excellent job of teasing out the fine details and placing them in the larger context, in the bargain offering overdue acknowledgment of Kempner's many contributions to the short-lived effort to bring Nazis to judgment. A footnote to a much larger story but a welcome one.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

subtitle
Alfred Rosenberg and the Stolen Secrets of the Third Reich
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154
publisher
Harper
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