Federal authorities are touting the recovery of the diary writings of Alfred Rosenberg, a top Nazi party adviser and close confident of Adolf Hitler.
Homeland Security and Justice Department officials joined U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum representatives Thursday to discuss the recovery of some 400 handwritten pages from Rosenberg's diary, covering 1936 to 1944.
"Thanks to the tireless investigative work of HSI special agents, and years of perseverance by both the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Delaware and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the long-lost Rosenberg Diary has been recovered, not in Germany but in the United States," said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton.
"This important record of the crimes of the Third Reich and the Holocaust is now preserved for all to see, study and learn from. The work of combating the international theft of cultural heritage is a key part of our work, and no matter how long these items may appear to be lost to history, that hard but important work will continue," said Morton.
Rosenberg was executed for war crimes in 1946. His diary was among several documents kept by Robert Kempner, a U.S. government lawyer at the Nuremberg trials. The museum took possession of parts of Kempner's collection after he died in 1993, but the Rosenberg diary pages remained missing.
Acting on information received last November, authorities recently seized the missing pages after locating them in upstate New York.
"The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is thrilled to have recovered the diary of Alfred Rosenberg, a leading Nazi ideologue," said U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Director Sara J. Bloomfield. "As we build the collection of record on the Holocaust, having material that documents the actions of both perpetrators and victims is crucial to helping scholars understand how and why the Holocaust happened. The story of this diary demonstrates how much material remains to be collected and why rescuing this evidence is such an important museum priority."