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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.

©2016 Robert K. Wittman and David Kinney (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Worth your time

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

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good insight

The story started slowing then gaining substance to the end. Very interesting and educative to listens to.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Very slow and dry.

I guess I was expecting more about the mind and inner workings of Nazis..
This was more of rambling 3rd person narrative.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul
  • los angeles, CA, United States
  • 04-24-17

I feel conned by this book.

What disappointed you about The Devil's Diary?

I was expecting full readinging from his diaries. What I got was a superficial reselling of the history of the nazis with a little commentary from Rosenberg.

What could Robert K. Wittman and David Kinney have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Provided full diary eateries. And provided an insight into what made Rosenberg think.

What didn’t you like about P. J. Ochlan’s performance?

The performance was too monotone.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

None!

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

So far I have no idea what I am reading (1 hour)

Any additional comments?

So far this book is all about the Jewish Nuremberg prosecutor Kempner... What is going on!

I bought this book to hear about Rosenberg! I sure better change fast or I am getting a refund.

Very very frustrating.

5 of 10 people found this review helpful