The Political Diary of Alfred Rosenberg and the Onset of the Holocaust

Abgeschlossenes Projekt

Employees (IfZ):  Prof. Dr. Frank Bajohr

A publication project of the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C. and the Center for Holocaust Studies, Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History, Munich

Personal records and political notes kept by the main Nazi ideologue and Reichsminister Alfred Rosenberg (1892-1946) were rediscovered in 2013 after having been thought lost to history. The papers have since been critically edited in a U.S.-German project and expanded to include other selected documents. Rosenberg’s political diaries provide us with a significant glimpse into the thinking of the chief Nazi ideologue and his subjective perspective on the party’s politics after 1933, with notes that were, on occasion, remarkably critical. They also offer a detailed view of Rosenberg’s role within the Nazi system of rule with its typical cliques and power struggles. His diaries, lastly, serve as a critical complement to other sources from the arcane world of National Socialist power, including the diaries of Joseph Goebbels.

During the “Third Reich”, the Baltic German Alfred Rosenberg was viewed as “besides the Führer, one of the most important bearers and heralds of the National Socialist world view,” as phrased by the Völkischer Beobachter official party newspaper. A diplomatic observer called him the “pope” of the Nazi Party, who wielded key influence over its programmatic and ideological orientation, especially in his role as Beauftragter des Führers für die Überwachung der gesamten geistigen und weltanschaulichen Schulung und Erziehung der NSDAP (“Führer’s official for the surveillance of the entire ideological training of the NSDAP”).

Rosenberg’s importance went well beyond that of a mere ideologue, however, as he also played an important role in political operations. As the head of the party’s foreign political office, he influenced the foreign relations of the “Third Reich” as a whole. He was furthermore involved in the Holocaust as Reichsminister for the Occupied Eastern Territories. That ministry was the only one to send two representatives to the “Wannsee Conference” of January 20, 1942, as it conferred on the “Final solution to the Jewish question”.

Publications within the project

Alfred Rosenberg.

Frank Bajohr / Jürgen Matthäus (Hrsg.)

Alfred Rosenberg.

Publications of the Center for Holocaust Studies

Frankfurt am Main 2015


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