"Official" Announcement On Discovery Of Nazi Diary Due Thursday

10:59 AM, Jun 13, 2013   |    comments
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Alfred Rosenberg, left, with Adolf Hitler

LEWISTON, NY - The secrets contained in one of the most sought after documents surrounding the Nazi holocaust will remain that way for at least a few more days.

Long lost documents, penned by a top aide to Adolf Hitler, and containing details of the planned extermination of Jews, were reportedly located earlier this year in Lewiston.

The so-called "Rosenberg Diaries" are now in the hands of the National Holocaust Museum, which promises to release more details about them this week, at which time a nearly 70-year-old mystery may be unraveled.

Alfred Rosenberg was a close confidant of Hitler, who history has identified as the architect of the Nazi genocide program known as The Final Solution.

After the war, he was convicted of crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg trials and hanged.

However, the diaries he kept, used as key evidence in his prosecution, vanished.

It was long assumed they had been spirited out of Germany and to America by one of the Nuremberg trials prosecutors, Robert Kempner

When Kempner died in 1993, it took several years of court battles to get his papers released,...and while there was plenty to read, the "Rosenberg Diaries" remained elusive.

According to Reuters, early this year, the Holocaust Museum and Homeland Security Investigators, found them to be in the possession of Herbert Richardson, who operates an academic publishing house in a non-descript building on Portage Road.

Village officials, who say the 80-year-old Richardson lives in Canada, pointed us to several other properties he owns.

Uncertain of in just which ones the documents were found, we visited several, attempting to speak with Richardson.

At the Edwin Mellon Press, we were met by a person inside who told us to leave, before slamming a door in our face.

This is not the first time that Richardson was found to have been in possession of a treasure trove of documents, once belonging to Kempner and associated with the Third Reich.

Fourteen years ago Richardson agreed to turn over a cache of Kempner's personal papers to the Holocaust Museum, which had reportedly been transferred to him by Kempner's long time secretary.

The Philadelphia Inquirer detailed the odyssey of those documents, and how they ended up in Richardson's hands, in an article published in 1999.

Though the matter of Richardson's having come into possession of the Kempner papers was investigated by law enforcement, and while Richardson did obtain legal counsel in that case--Richardson was never charged with any wrongdoing.

The lawyer who represented Richardson, Paul Reid, died four years ago, and the Niagara Falls law firm, which still bears his name, says it has no current association with Richardson.

As to whether Richardson willingly turned over documents including the Rosenberg Diaries this time, or regarding exactly what is contained in them, a Holocaust Museum Spokesperson sent an e-mail to WGRZ-TV in which she stated: "We are having a press conference on this discovery on Thursday. Until then the information is under court seal."

Lewiston's Mayor, Terry Collesano, declined comment for this story on his village's new place in history, but directed us to another property Richardson acquired several years ago, the name of which Collesano suddenly finds quite interesting.

It is a former Bowling alley (now filled with document reproducing machines) named the Robert Kempner Collegium - which until today, few realized, bears the name of the Nuremberg prosecutor, who it is believed secreted the diaries away from Germany, and until now, away from history.

Click on the video player to watch our story from 2 on Your Side Reporter Dave McKinley and Photojournalist Bob Mancuso. Follow Dave on Twitter: @DaveMcKinley2

WGRZ-TV, wgrz.com

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