Albert Rosenberg papers
Albert Rosenberg (1918-2014) was born in Göttingen, Germany. Brought up in a well-to-do Jewish family, he attended school and went on to study at the local university. In the late 1930s, Albert was attacked by a Nazi soldier. After he recovered, he fled Germany for the United States with assistance from his cousins, Edmond and Lenore Cahn. Albert arrived in New York City in November 1937. He later enrolled in law school at the University of Miami but in 1942 was drafted by the United States Army before he finished his studies. He was initially assigned to the air corps and armored branch and later joined the US Army’s Psychological Warfare Division, an intelligence unit. There, Albert used his fluent German, French, and English language skills to interrogate German prisoners and prepare materials that would demoralize German soldiers. As a Second Lieutenant with the division, Albert led an extensive investigation into the establishment, organization, and daily operations of Buchenwald concentration camp, a study he conducted just days after the camp was liberated in April 1945. Known now as the The Buchenwald Report, the investigation sought to study the camp and prepare an official report for the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF). Through the course of the investigation, Albert and his Intelligence team enlisted the help of ten former prisoners, chief among them, Eugen Kogon, a notable Austrian political prisoner held by the Nazis in Buchenwald for nearly six years. With the help of these former prisoners, Albert and the Intelligence team systematically interviewed over 100 detainees regarding their experiences under the order of the SS just days after their liberation. The interrogation period spanned from April 16th until May 11th, 1945 when the report was completed. Due to the fact that the vast majority of interviewees did not speak English, the report was compiled in German, but was never translated to English for use by SHAEF. As a result, the report was never published in its entirety and was only referenced by Kogon in his 1946 work The Theory and Practice of Hell (Der SS-Staat). In the late 1980s, Albert rediscovered his copy of the report in a bedroom closet and donated it to his colleague at the University of Texas El Paso, David A. Hackett, who translated and published it in 1995 as The Buchenwald Report (Westview Press). After the war, Albert went on to earn a master’s degree in community organization from the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work. He used his skills as a social worker to address issues of racial conflict in Chicago, Baltimore, New Orleans, and Detroit, among other cities. He also served the U.S. government as an urban renewal expert in Austria and Belgium and was part of a United Nations Economic Council in Switzerland. In 1980, Albert took a position at the University of Texas El Paso and established a community organization curriculum. Upon retirement in 1990, Albert worked as a therapeutic caseworker with Hospice of El Paso. Albert passed away in December 2014 at the age of 96. 28 members of Albert’s family perished in the Holocaust.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Funding Note: The cataloging of this collection has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
The Albert Rosenberg papers were donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1995 by Albert Rosenberg.
The Albert Rosenberg papers is comprised of materials collected by Albert Rosenberg of the United States Army Psychological Warfare Division during his deployment to Europe during World War II. The bulk of this collection is comprised of the original Buchenwald Report typescript prepared by Albert, his Intelligence team, and Eugen Kogen in May 1945, along with numerous testimonies and statements contributed by former prisoners. Correspondence related to the creation of this report is also included in this collection, some of which is between Rosenberg, his colleagues and superiors regarding his mission to compile the Buchenwald report and the repatriation of Eugen Kogon in 1945. Later correspondence details the provenance of this report and publication information. Among the testimonies recorded for the report are several lists documenting survivors of the camps, their nationalities, and situations before the outbreak of war. The prisoner lists include United States Army Air Forces, Royal Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force, politicians and artists, and antifascists. Additionally, there are lists documenting SS camp personnel, executions in Buchenwald, subcamps, and camp statistics. Some lists are in English. Several photographs of Buchenwald in the days immediately after liberation are also contained here within. Also comprised in the collection are materials presumably collected by Albert during his deployment. This includes propaganda leaflets, some of which he may have prepared for use by the Psychological War Division to be directed at German soldiers and civilians, a residence card issued by the Nazi party in 1944, and a press release detailing Kogon’s testimony during the Buchenwald Trials in 1947.
The Albert Rosenberg papers are arranged as two series: • Series 1: Buchenwald Report and related materials, 1945-1983 • Series 2: Collected materials, 1945-1947