kept a diary
for much of his life. From 1923 to 1941, he wrote the entries himself. From 1941 to 1945, he dictated lengthy passages to aides. He sometimes telephoned them in the middle of the night when he wanted to add some text. The dictations usually opened with a description of the military situation, followed by his personal comments. The dictated diary is not as personal as the earlier one he wrote himself.
Much of the diaries were thought to have been lost during World War II
. However in 1992, they were discovered to be held in Soviet-era archives — as Goebbels himself had ordered his diaries to be duplicated while in the Fuhrerbunker
, and buried in a nearby grove of trees, believing that one day history would laud him, and would want to know about his life.
There is dispute over which researcher first discovered the Soviet archives, with Elke Fröhlich
and David Irving
both laying claim to the title.
The question of authenticity
In 1988 during a trial in Toronto, Canada
, Mark Weber
of the Institute for Historical Review
gave the following testimony casting doubt on the authenticity of the documents:David Irving
, in his Mastermind of the Third Reich
(1996), also mentions several examples of entries in the document being inconsistent with events, for example:
Irving, however, does not question the document's authenticity.
A 29-volume edition, spanning the years 1923-1945, was edited by Elke......