From the archive: Rosenberg gives evidence at Nuremberg

Publié le par The Guardian

With the entry of Alfred Rosenberg into the witness-box this evening, the Nuremberg Court became the reluctant audience for an outpouring of philosophical thought that sounded altogether meaningless after the terrible evidence about the slaughter of millions at Auschwitz to which the tribunal had previously been listening.

From the archive: Rosenberg gives evidence at Nuremberg

Several times had the prisoner expounded with upturned eyes on the influence upon him of Goethe and Charles Dickens, Kant and Schopenhauer. Lord Justice Lawrence pointed out that the Tribunal would prefer him to talk about his own philosophy. The question was not whether he had tried to reconstruct Germany but whether National Socialism had been used for international offences.

It is generally accepted that Rosenberg's writings are comparable with Hitler's oratory in the rise of Nazi Germany, and extracts from such works as "The Myth of the Twentieth Century" and "Blood and Honour" are to be used in his defence. One strange aspect of it all is that a man who hails from Reval and studied in Riga and Moscow should have exerted such deep influence on the Fatherland.

The gist of the prisoner's evidence was that as a Baltic German he came to Munich with his aspirations as an architect surpassed by a determination to do all in his power to save such a sensitive structure as the German system from being overwhelmed by Bolshevism. He himself did not use the term "master race," which would be found in Homer and in British, American and French writings.

Asked why he wished the last Jew to leave Europe, Rosenberg answered that his views were founded on a study of Jewish historians themselves. After the general emancipation of the nineteenth century, it was to be foreseen that the Jews would wish to return to the soil of Asia, where their roots of blood and tradition were established. He could not understand why fighting men returning from the last war should be greeted by the taunt from Jewish professors that the German soldier had died on the field of dishonour.

Before the court adjourned Rosenberg had come to perhaps more relevant matters in the party's foreign political office. In May, 1933, at Hitler's request, he met a number of British Ministers in London, where his reception was not too cordial, though this did not prevent him from maintaining his contact there. In 1933, too, he met Quisling [a fascist Norwegian diplomat], who six years later expressed his fears that the north of Norway was to be occupied by Soviet Russia and the south by the Western Allies.

Publié dans Articles de Presse

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