Rosenberg, Alfred

(1893-1946)
   racial ideologue; served in the 1920s as theorist for the NSDAP. Born of Balto-German lineage in the Estonian town of Reval, he studied architecture and engineering in Moscow before fleeing revolutionary Russia in 1918. He moved to Munich, where his radical anticom-munism and anti-Semitism* led him to the Thule Society.* Befriended by Die-trich Eckart,* he wrote several racist articles for Eckart s Aufgut Deutsch and through Eckart was introduced to both the German Workers Party (precursor of the NSDAP) and Hitler.* Hitler was impressed by his abstruse intolerance of Jews,* Bolshevism, and Christianity and by his views on Lebensraum ("living space ). Rosenberg joined the NSDAP, and his ideas appeared in Hitler s speeches and the Party program.
   The Volkischer Beobachter* provided Rosenberg's principal outlet. In Feb-ruary 1923 he replaced Eckart as the paper s editor, a position he retained until 1938. Max Amann,* the paper s publisher, deemed Rosenberg an arrogant "buf-foon" and a "stuck-up crackpot ninny." Since this image of him was common, he remained an outsider among the Nazis. Nevertheless, when Hitler was im-prisoned after the Beerhall Putsch,* he earmarked Rosenberg to lead the NSDAP until his release. Assisted by Julius Streicher* and Hermann Esser, Rosenberg founded a successor group known as the Grossdeutsche Volksgemeinschaft (the NSDAP being temporarily banned). Although his pedantic bearing alienated colleagues and was ill suited for sustaining the fragmented Nazis, he kept his standing after Hitler's release. In 1929 he formed the Kampfbund fur deutsche Kultur (Combat League for German Culture); in 1930 he launched the journal Nationalsozialistische Monatshefte and published his Mythus des 20. Jahrhun-derts (Myth of the twentieth century). Mythus, his best-known work, was an anti-Semitic and anti-Christian diatribe. Embarrassed by its pagan innuendos, Hitler refused to give Mythus the NSDAP's official endorsement. Nonetheless, it became a best-seller.
   Rosenberg entered the Reichstag* in 1930, but retained only theoretical im-portance after 1932. Hitler s concordat with the Catholic* Church, coupled with his decision to appoint someone other than Rosenberg to the Foreign Office, underscored his eclipse. Nevertheless, he led the negligible NSDAP Foreign Affairs Department and established his Institute for the Investigation of the Jew-ish Question. Hitler restored his prominence in 1941 by appointing him Reichs-minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories; however, the brutalities carried out under his supervision prompted his conviction for war crimes. The Nurem-berg court hanged him in October 1946.
   REFERENCES:Cecil, Myth of the Master Race; Fest, Face of the Third Reich; Nova, Alfred Rosenberg; Stachura, Political Leaders; Viereck, Metapolitics; Whisker, Philos-ophy ofAlfred Rosenberg.

A Historical dictionary of Germany's Weimar Republic, 1918-1933. .

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