|Born||12 Jan 1893|
|Died||16 Oct 1946|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseAlfred Rosenberg was born in Reval, Governorate of Estonia, Russian Empire (now Tallinn, Estonia) to a wealthy German merchant. He studied architecture at the Riga Polytechnical Institute in Latvia, then studied engineering at the Moscow Highest Technical School in Russia; he received his doctorate degree in 1917. While at Moscow, he married Hilda Leesmann, an Estonian, in 1915. During the Russian Revolution of 1917, he supported the Tsarists, and when the Tsarists lost the civil war he emigrated to Munich, Germany in 1918. Anti-Semitic and anti-communist, he was easily convinced to join the German Workers Party in Jan 1919 as one of its earliest members, predating Adolf Hitler by 9 months. He had worked with Dietrich Eckart at the newspaper Völkischer Beobachter (People's Observer), which would become the official Nazi Party newspaper in Dec 1920. In 1923, he became the newspaper's editor. In the same year, he divorced Hilda Leesmann. In 1924, while Hitler served his prison sentence for the failed Beer Hall Putsch, Rosenberg was named the temporary leader of the Nazi Party. In 1925, he married Hedwig Kramer; they would have a son (who died in infancy) and a daughter. In 1929, he founded the Militant League for German Culture; later, he founded the Institute for the Study of the Jewish Question to attack Jewish influence in German culture. In 1930, he became a Reichstag Deputy. In the same year, he published the book Der Mythus des 20. Jahrhunderts (The Myth of the Twentieth Century), which centered around Nazi philosophy; it sold one million copies by 1945, but it was not viewed as an important piece of Nazi Party literature by the party leaders.
ww2dbaseIn 1933, Rosenberg became the head of the foreign political office of the Nazi Party. In that role, he visited the United Kingdom later in the same year to promote Anglo-German friendship, and the visit was a failure. At a visit to the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at the Westminster Abbey in London, England, United Kingdom, he placed a wreath with a swastika emblem on the tomb; the gesture was so offensive to some of the British that a veteran later grabbed it and threw it into the Thames River. In 1934, Hitler named Rosenberg the head of spiritual and philosophical education of the Nazi Party, thus making him the party's chief racial theorist. Although the details of his racial views had minor shifts throughout the years, he had consistently viewed Jews, blacks, and homosexuals with animosity. In terms of religion, he looked down upon Christianity for its Jewish origins and the Christian belief that all people were born sinners, the latter because all Germans, according to his own philosophy, were born noble. This open view against Christianity did not sit well with other Nazi Party leaders; although many in the position of power did in fact reject Christianity privately, in public they avoided radial statements in an attempt to maintain unity among Germans. In early 1940, he became the head of the academic institution Center of National Socialist Ideological and Educational Research. In Mar 1941, Rosenberg was made the head of the Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories (Reichsministerium für die besetzten Ostgebiete) in preparation for the German invasion of the Soviet Union. In this role, he implemented the deportation and extermination of Jews, but protested when SS groups acted similarly against Slavic peoples, as Rosenberg had considered Slavs of a higher racial class who could be Germanized. He abolished Soviet collective farms in the conquered territories and returned farmland to Slavic families, a policy that did not please his colleagues in Berlin, Germany as this action was considered detrimental to the greater amounts of food needed by the German Army.
ww2dbaseAt the end of the war, Rosenberg was captured by Allied troops. Tried at Nuremberg, Germany, it was determined that he played a decisive role in shaping Nazi philosophy and carrying out policies against Jews. He was found guilty of conspiracy to commit crimes against peace; planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression; war crimes; and crimes against humanity. Refusing to make a last statement before his hanging, he was executed on 16 Oct 1946.
Last Major Revision: Mar 2011
Alfred Rosenberg Timeline
|12 Jan 1893||Alfred Rosenberg was born in Reval, Russian Empire (now Tallinn, Estonia).|
|13 Mar 1941||Adolf Hitler appointed Alfred Rosenberg the minister of the eastern occupied territories, while further conquests would be assigned to Heinrich Himmler. Hermann Göring was given the responsibility of exploiting the resources in conquered Soviet territory.|
|20 Mar 1941||Adolf Hitler appointed Alfred Rosenberg the Delegate for Central Planning for Questions of the Eastern European Area.|
|20 Jun 1941||Alfred Rosenberg delivered a speech in which he stated that the job of feeding Germans was the top German priority, while feeding the conquered peoples in Eastern Europe was not of Germany's concern.|
|16 Jul 1941||Alfred Rosenberg's appointment as the Reich Minister for Occupied Eastern Territories was confirmed by Adolf Hitler during a conference at Adolf Hitler's headquarters in East Prussia, Germany. In that conference, which was led by Hitler and also attended by Hermann Göring, Wilhelm Keitel, Martin Bormann, and Hans Lammers, Hitler provided his vision of the future of Eastern Europe in which the Baltic States were to be incorporated into Germany, Crimea to be populated with ethnic Germans, Caucasus to be a German concession, and Leningrad given to Finland.|
|17 Jul 1941||Alfred Rosenberg officially took on the position of Reich Minister for Occupied Eastern Territories. Among his responsibilities were the Germanization of the occupied lands and the exploitation and extermination of Jews.|
|17 Nov 1941||The Reichskommissariat Ostland was established under Alfred Rosenberg to administer territories taken from the Soviet Union.|
|18 Dec 1941||Nazi German philosopher Alfred Rosenberg declared "... biological extermination of the whole of European Jewry was to take place on Soviet territory."|
|28 Feb 1942||Alfred Rosenberg advised Wilhelm Keitel to improve the treatment of Soviet prisoners of war.|
|12 Jun 1944||German Reich Minister for the Eastern Occupied Territories Alfred Rosenberg ordered the start of Heuaktion, which called for the kidnapping of 40,000 Polish children between the age of 10 and 14; they were to be transported to Germany as slave laborers.|
|19 May 1945||Alfred Rosenberg was captured at Flensburg, Germany.|
|16 Oct 1946||Alfred Rosenberg was executed by hanging at Nuremberg, Germany.|
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James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945