By Richard A. Widmann-Recent news accounts tell how the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) have located the long-lost diary of Alfred Rosenberg. While it is certainly surprising, to me at least, that ICE and Homeland Security spend their time looking for lost documents from the Second World War, the discovery is certainly of interest to historians and those interested in National Socialist Germany and the Holocaust.
The diary of Rosenberg, who served as Reichsministerium für die besetzten Ostgebiete (Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories) has been missing since the Nuremberg trials. News accounts suggest that researchers will find a vast treasure-trove of new information regarding the Holocaust, but will they?I suspect that the story will quietly disappear after no bomb-shells or even evidence of a program to murder Europe’s Jews is discovered within the diary’s pages. There may be a minor discovery based on a tortured translation, but nothing more. The diaries will then likely be sealed up and only allowed review under the watchful eye of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum lest anyone reveal some inconvenient history.
The discovery may even cause embarrassment to the keepers of the orthodox Holocaust story. Rosenberg’s initial thoughts and comments after being shown atrocity films during the Nuremberg trials have long been recorded and published. In fact, Nuremberg psychiatrist G.M. Glibert published these in his Nuremberg Diary in 1961.
Gilbert recorded the reaction of Rosenberg to “recent revelations” as follows:
“Of course, it’s terrible – incomprehensible, the whole business. – I would never have dreamed it would take such a turn – I don’t know. – Terrible!”
And later during the interview:
“I don’t know. I guess it just ran away with him [Hitler]. – We didn’t contemplate killing anybody in the beginning; I can assure you of that. I always advocated a peaceful solution. I held a speech before 10,000 people which was later printed and distributed widely, advocating a peaceful solution. – Just taking the Jews out of their influential positions, that’s all. Like instead of having 90 per cent of the doctors in Berlin Jewish, reducing them to 30 per cent, or something like that – which would have been a liberal quota even then. – I had no idea that it would lead to such horrible things as mass murder. We only wanted to solve the Jewish problem peacefully. We even let 50,000 Jewish intellectuals get across the border.”
Rosenberg continued on the idea of Jewish Lebensraum:
“Well, I knew they were being transported to the East, and understood that they were being set up in camps with their own administration, and eventually would settle somewhere in the East. – I don’t know. – I had no idea that it would lead to extermination in any literal sense. We just wanted to take them out of German political life.”
Rosenberg was found guilty on all four counts of the indictment: 1. Conspiracy to commit crimes alleged in other counts; 2. Crimes against peace; 3. War Crimes; 4. Crimes against humanity.
He was sentenced to hang.
For the sake of truth, I advocate the immediate publication of Rosenberg’s diaries in the original German language on the internet. Let’s let the world see what was really written and let the chips fall where they may.
I for one expect that an honest inquiry will lead to the rightful revisionism of this dark time in our recent history.
For additional reading: G.M. Gilbert, Nuremberg Diary (New York, Signet Book, 1961).