|“||The gullible European has only too credulously listened to these temptations, sung to the lyrics of the sirens' song—freedom, justice, brotherhood. The fruits of this subversion are apparent today.They are so nakedly apparent that even the most unbiased person, a person who has no idea of the necessary historical relationships, must become aware that he has placed his confidence in crafty and glib leaders, who intended, not his good, but the destruction of all laboriously acquired civilization, all culture.||„|
|~ Rosenberg, as quoted in Auf Gut Deutsch magazine, February 1919.|
Alfred Ernst Rosenberg (January 12th, 1893 - October 16th, 1946) was a Russian-born German theorist and member of the Nazi Party. Rosenberg was first introduced to Adolf Hitler by Dietrich Eckart and held several important posts in the Nazi government.
He was born in the Russian Empire (in a part that is now in Latvia). He had been in school during World War I. While he had joined the Nazi Party, Hitler himself, did not join until October. in 1923, Rosenberg became the top editor of the Völkischer Beobachter newspapers. Hitler was arrested for Treason in the Beer Hall Putsch but not before he placed Rosenberg in charge of the Nazis. He was not to be overpowering until Hitler was let out of jail. 1929, Rosenberg formed the "Institute for the Study of the Jewish Question" where Jewish influence would be attacked. Rosenberg feared that the Soviet Communists would come after Hitler and declared them evil.
In the early years of World War II, Rosenberg became head of the Hohe Schule, the Centre of National Socialist Ideological and Educational Research. He formed a task force to steal musical instruments and then sent them to Berlin. He became the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories. As head of the Hohe Schule, Rosenberg contributed to the nazi's racial ladder, placing Nordics at the top and Jews at the bottom. Rosenberg also expressed negative views on Christianity.
As the Nazi Party's chief racial theorist, Rosenberg oversaw the construction of a human racial "ladder" that justified Hitler's racial and ethnic policies. Rosenberg built on the works of Arthur de Gobineau, Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Madison Grant, the Klansman Lothrop Stoddard as well as on the beliefs of Hitler. Rosenberg placed Blacks and Jews at the very bottom of the ladder, while at the very top stood the white "Aryan" race. Rosenberg promoted the Nordic theory which regarded Nordics as the "master race", superior to all others, including to other Aryans (Indo-Europeans). He was also influenced by the Judeo-Masonic conspiracy theory promoted by the Catholic counter-revolutionary tradition, such as the book Le Juif, le judaïsme et la judaïsation des peuples chrétiens (1869) by Roger Gougenot des Mousseaux, which he translated into German under the title The Eternal Jew.
Rosenberg got the racial term "Untermensch" from the title of Stoddard's 1922 book The Revolt Against Civilization: The Menace of the Under-man, which had been adopted by the Nazis from that book's German version Der Kulturumsturz: Die Drohung des Untermenschen (1925).
Rosenberg reshaped Nazi racial policy over the years, but it always consisted of Aryan supremacy, extreme German nationalism and rabid antisemitism. Rosenberg also outspokenly opposed homosexuality – notably in his pamphlet "Der Sumpf" ("The Swamp", 1927). He viewed homosexuality as a hindrance to the expansion of the Nordic population.
Rosenberg's attitude towards Slavs was flexible and depended on the particular nation involved. As a result of the ideology of "Drang nach Osten" ("Drive to the East"), Rosenberg saw his mission as the conquest and colonization of the Slavic East. In Der Mythus des 20. Jahrhunderts Rosenberg describes Russian Slavs as being overwhelmed by Bolshevism. Regarding Ukrainians, he favoured setting up a buffer state to ease pressure on the German eastern frontier, while agreeing with the notion of the exploitation of Russia for the benefit of Germany. During the war, Rosenberg was in favour of collaboration with the East Slavs against Bolshevism and offering them national independence unlike other Nazis such as Hitler and Heinrich Himmler who dismissed such ideas.
In 1940 Rosenberg was made head of the Hohe Schule (literally "high school", but the German phrase refers to a college), the Centre of National Socialist Ideological and Educational Research, out of which the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (Reichsleiter Rosenberg Taskforce) developed for the purpose of looting art and cultural goods. The ERR were especially active in Paris in looting art stolen from famous Jewish families such as the Rothschilds and that of Paul Rosenberg.
Hermann Göring used the ERR to collect art for his own personal gratification. He created a "Special Task Force for Music" (Sonderstab Musik) to collect the best musical instruments and scores for use in a university to be built in Hitler's home town of Linz, Austria. The orders given to the Sonderstab Musik were to loot all forms of Jewish property in Germany and of those found in any country taken over by the German army, and any musical instruments or scores were to be immediately shipped to Berlin.
Since the invasion of the Soviet Union intended to impose the New Order, it was essentially a war of conquest. German propaganda efforts designed to win over Russian opinion were, at best, patchy and inconsistent. Alfred Rosenberg was one of the few in the Nazi hierarchy who advocated a policy designed to encourage anti-Communist opinion among the population of the occupied territories. His interest here was mainly in the non-Russian areas such as Ukraine and the Baltic States; however, supporters of the Russian Liberation Army were somewhat able to win him over.
Amongst other things, Rosenberg issued a series of posters announcing the end of the Soviet collective farms (kolkhoz). He also issued an Agrarian Law in February 1942, annulling all Soviet legislation on farming and restoring family farms for those willing to collaborate with the occupiers. But decollectivisation conflicted with the wider demands of wartime food production, and Hermann Göring demanded that the collective farms be retained, save for a change of name. Hitler himself denounced the redistribution of land as "stupid".
There were numerous German armed forces (Wehrmacht) posters asking for assistance in the Bandenkrieg, the war against the Soviet partisans, though, once again, German policy had the effect of adding to their problems. Posters for "volunteer" labour, with inscriptions such as "Come work with us to shorten the war", hid the appalling realities faced by Russian workers in Germany. Many people joined the partisans rather than risk being sent to an unknown fate in the west.
Another of Rosenberg's initiatives, the "Free Caucasus" campaign, was rather more successful, attracting various nationalities into the so-called Eastern Legion (Ostlegionen), though in the end this made little difference in the outcome of the war on the Eastern Front.
After the war, Rosenberg was put in the Nuremberg War Trials. The judge found the racial Rosenberg guilty. A day after Hermann Göring killed himself, Rosenberg was hanged. He left behind a daughter named Irene.