Author(s): Robert K. Wittman; David Kinney
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 G#65533;ring, 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.
'This engaging book deftly combines the various strands of the story ... Lively and well written ... Part detective story, part history book it restores Rosenberg to his rightful place ... A fascinating read' The Times 'Cannot be recommended too highly' New York Journal of Books 'A fascinating scholarly detective story centring 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, in the bargain offering overdue acknowledgement of Kempner's many contributions to the short-lived effort to bring Nazis to judgement. A footnote to a much larger story but a welcome one' Kirkus Praise for Robert K Wittman: '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" New York Times 'Almost every case he recounts has enough intrigue and suspense for a Hollywood screenplay' Washington Post 'Genius ... riveting ... should be a TV series' Los Angeles Times
Robert K Wittman served as the FBI's top investigator in cases involving art theft for 20 years. He helped recover more than $300 million worth of stolen art, resulting in the prosecution and conviction of numerous individuals. Now an art security consultant for the private sector, Wittman published his memoir 'Priceless' in 2010 which he recounts his career as an undercover agent. David Kinney is the author of 'The Dylanologists' and 'The Big One'. A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, his writing has appeared in newspapers around the world, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe.