Nazi Diary Recovered From Lewiston Home
By Shmuel "Sam" Shmueli
A 400 page, long-lost, handwritten diary, belonging to a confidant of Adolf Hitler has been recovered from the home of a Lewiston man, Herbert Richardson of Center St.
The diary of Alfred Rosenberg offers recollections from 1936 to 1944, according to an analysis by the Holocaust museum.
The recovery is expected to be announced this week at a news conference in Delaware held jointly by officials from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Department of Justice and Holocaust museum.
Richardson, 81, is a developer, a religious studies professor-turned-publisher and founder and publisher of Edwin Mellen Press at 140 Portage Road in Lewiston. Mellen Press publishes books "intended to be read by scholars."
Rosenberg (1893-1946), a major figure in Holocaust history, was a high-ranking Nazi who played a central role in the extermination of millions of Jews and others during World War II. He directed the Nazi looting of Jewish art, cultural and religious property throughout Europe and was convicted of crimes against humanity and was one of a dozen senior Nazi officials executed in October 1946.
His diary, once held by Nuremberg prosecutors as evidence, vanished after the trial. A Nuremberg prosecutor, Robert Kempner, was suspected by U.S. officials of smuggling the diary back to the United States.
When Kempner died in 1993 at age 93, legal disputes about his papers went on for nearly a decade between his children, his former secretary, Margot Lipton, a local debris removal contractor and the Holocaust museum.
Kempner specified in his will that his papers and letters be given to his two sons -- Lucien who lives in Unterhaching, Germany, and Adrien, who has since died -- and that the papers he preserved at the Holocaust museum.
Kempner's children agreed to give their father's papers to the Holocaust museum, but when officials arrived to retrieve them from his home in Philadelphia in 1999, they discovered that thousands of pages were missing.
The FBI opened a criminal investigation into the missing documents in 1999. No charges were filed in the case.
The Holocaust museum went on to recover in 1999 more than 150,000 pages of documents, including letters and records detailing 60 years of Holocaust history including behind-the-scenes notes about the Nuremberg trials that were held by Kempner's former secretary, Lipton, who had moved near Richardson's Lewiston home.
In mid-1998, Richardson gained power of attorney for Lipton, who was Kempner's legal secretary for more than 40 years.
Richardson encouraged Lipton to move into an assisted living home and allow him to move the files into a private home neighboring Richardson's publishing company in Lewiston.
The Rosenberg diary, however, was not among the documents recovered in 1999.
Early this year, the Holocaust museum and an agent from Homeland Security Investigation tried to locate the missing diary pages. They tracked the diary to Richardson and have now recovered it.
A preliminary assessment of the recovered diary, according to a report in the United Kingdom's Daily Mail, indicates that the diary could offer new insights into meetings Rosenberg had with Hitler and other top Nazi leaders, including Heinrich Himmler and Herman Goering.
It includes details about the German occupation of the Soviet Union, including plans for mass killings of Jews and other Eastern Europeans.
The diary includes details about the flight of Rudolf Hess to Britain in 1941, and the looting of art throughout Europe, according to a preliminary analysis made by the Holocaust Museum.
A U.S. government official stressed that the museum's analysis remains preliminary, according to reports.
A government official said more details will be announced at the news conference.
Richardson was called at his offices in Lewiston but was not immediately available for comment.
|Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr.||www.niagarafallsreporter.com||
JUN 11, 2013