The Devil's Diary

  • by Robert K. Wittman, David Kinney
  • Narrated by P. J. Ochlan
  • 15 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This exploration of the private wartime diary of Alfred Rosenberg - Hitler's "chief philosopher" and architect of Nazi ideology - interweaves the story of its recent discovery with the revelation of its never-before-published contents, which are contextualized by the authors: The result is a unprecedented narrative of the Nazi rise to power, the Holocaust, and Hitler's postinvasion plans for Russia.
A groundbreaking historical contribution, The Devil's Diary is a chilling window into the mind of Adolf Hitler's "chief social philosopher", Alfred Rosenberg, who formulated some of the guiding principles behind the Third Reich's genocidal crusade. It also chronicles the thrilling detective hunt for the diary, which disappeared after the Nuremburg Trials and remained lost for almost three quarters of a century, until Robert Wittman, a former FBI special agent who founded the Bureau's Art Crimes Team, played an important role; he tells his story now for the first time.
The authors expertly and deftly contextualize hundreds of entries stretching from 1936 through 1944, in which the loyal Hitler advisor recounts internal meetings with the Fürher and his close associates, Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler; describes the postinvasion occupation of the Soviet Union; considers the "solution" to the "Jewish question"; and discusses his overseeing of the mass seizure and cataloguing of books and artwork from homes, libraries, and museums across occupied Europe. An eyewitness to events, this narrative of Rosenberg's diary offers provocative and intimate insights into pivotal moments in the war and the notorious Nazi who laid the philosophical foundations of the Third Reich.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Fresh perspective on terrible events.

As described in the synopsis, Alfred Rosenberg's diary and experiences are at the heart of this book. It's familiar and horrible, of course, but the perspective is different and illuminating nonetheless. The book is very well written, deeply researched, and the story unfolds artfully as the personalities involved in the recovery of these documents creep off the pages. To me, the most interesting aspect comes with the story of Robert Kempner, who was among the prosecutorial team at the Nuremberg Trials. The tale of how Kempner got there, where he came from, and what he did later is a fascinating yarn, and it sets this book apart. Documents are so fragile, one appreciates all of the accidents and twists of fate that cause some to be preserved and some to disappear forever. If you like history, human perseverance, and a well told story, you will probably enjoy this book.
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- Sparkly "interested in history, science, and pulp fiction"

Worth your time

Very worth your time. Focuses on people you do not know and may never have heard about before.
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- Jennifer "goldenrule987"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-29-2016
  • Publisher: HarperAudio