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Nuremberg Diary Paperback – August 22, 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 488 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; Reprint edition (August 22, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306806614
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306806612
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

G. M. Gilbert was the prison psychologist before and during the Nuremberg trial and is the author of The Psychology of Dictatorship.

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Customer Reviews

It'd be like reading a book first, and then having a chance to meet the actors.
Stray Dog
This book was written by the first American Psychiatrist to have access to the Nazi 'elite' in their cells as they were on trial at Nuremberg.
Samantha Morse
This is an interesting and absorbing book, and a fascinating and entertaining book to read.
Barron Laycock

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

119 of 123 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Marin on July 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
The author, Gilbert, was an American intelligence officer who in his capacity as prison psychologist at the Nuremberg Jail had unlimited free access to the top Nazi leaders throughout their trial. He produced an invaluable book. With few exceptions, the top Nazis reveal themselves as ordinary men promoted to higher positions than their abilities merited, and willing to do or at least tolerate pretty much anything in order to hold onto them. What they say privately about each other gives a unique perspective on the interplay of personalities and motivations that produced the Nazi regime and its horrors.
Foremost among those exceptions is Hermann Goering. Goering's character is rich and multifaceted. The facets can hardly be reconciled as belonging to the same person. So much about him is appealing - his intelligence, his sense of humor, his expansive good-natured bonhomie, his childlike responses to praise or reprimand. But a man can smile and smile and still be a villain. Goering uses the weaker defendants to pressure the more independent ones to toe his "party line" of maintaining loyalty to Hitler. He offers to trade or withhold testimony, inveigles his lawyer into intimidating a witness, and even threatens retaliation by the Feme kangaroo courts. In part because the author's duties required him to prevent that sort of behavior, he spent more time with Goering than with any of the other defendants. In part, though, I think he just found him fascinating.
The author's duties as psychologist required that he spend considerable time with Streicher, whose leering, lascivious, bigotry probably indicated mental illness. Streicher's anti-semitism was obsessive - it was the only subject he talked about - and he incessantly lobbied anyone who would listen.
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57 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Cody Carlson VINE VOICE on September 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
'Nuremberg Diary' is Gustav Gilbert's narrative of the time he spent with the defendants of the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial after WWII. As the prison psychiatrist, Gilbert was given access to all the prisoners and the resulting conversations form the basis of this book. From the unrepentant, pompus bravado of Hermann Goering to the disgusting anti-semitism of Julius Streicher to the absent minded Joachim von Ribbentrop to the humbled Albert Speer, this work proves a keen insight into the men who at one time controlled an empire, but who now faced the world's final justice. Thought-provoking, chilling, and at times even moving, Gilbert's 'Nuremberg Diary' will stand forever as an important witness against Nazi barbarism.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Stray Dog on February 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
I would recommend this book as it views the trial and above all the defendants from a perspective which no other book can possibly offer. I think it important for future reader that they are aware that this is hardly a complete account of the trial itself. Other books (The Nuremberg Trial, by Ann and John Tusa for example) achieve this well enough. This book brings you into the cells and lets you hear what the defendants thought about the whole situation, until you become familiar with their different personalities. I would recommend reading some other book before this, to gain better knowledge of the trial, but definitely I would not miss this one. It'd be like reading a book first, and then having a chance to meet the actors.
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55 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Dale Raby on December 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
Ever have the urge to get into the mind of a monster just to see how he thinks? Sound like another serial killer book? Well, in a sense, Nuremberg Diary is that, but it is so much more as well.
About a month ago, I watched the TNT production about the Nuremberg trial and took note of the names of some of the characters portrayed in it. The character of Captain Gilbert interested me. He was a prison psychologist who visited with many of the prisoners in their cells... spending an inordinate amount of time with Goering. I speculated that very probably that individual might have written a book after the trial.
I did a search on his name and guess what... he did indeed write a book about his experiences. It was published originally by Farrar, Straus & Company in 1947... barely a year after the Nuremberg trial was over. I quickly emailed a query off to Tracy at The Attic... could she get me a copy? The reply came back a day or so later... yes, she could, it would cost a certain amount... and if I wanted one with the dust-cover still intact... a certain amount plus about eight bucks... if I remember right. I placed the order and a few weeks later (coming from Canada), it arrived and Tracy emailed me to come pick it up. I showed up the next day to behold a beautifully preserved first-edition copy with the name "Clayton J. Golding" inscribed with an old-fashioned fountain pen. Thanks Tracy... good scrounge!
What's the book about? Well, some of you web-surfers are a bit young, I suppose.
After WWII was over, the victorious Allies decided to have a trial... charging 23 of the aforementioned monsters with four separate offenses. Two of the defendants, Robert Ley and Hermann Goering, killed themselves before sentence could be carried out, Ley, barely before the trial was even started.
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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Barron Laycock HALL OF FAME on March 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
As a person who has read a number of books relating to this subject, nothing so defines the striking differences between the nature of the Third Reich from the constitutional democracies that largely comprised the Allies as the way in which the defendants of the trials at Nuremberg were handled. With painstaking precision and at extraordinary cost in terms of international arm-twisting and back-door deals, the proponents of a judicial proceeding designed to illustrate the manifest individual guilt of the various Nazi officials forged a result that still stands today as a model of a non-retributive effort in the face of extraordinary pressure. While one can hardly describe the Nuremberg trials as unflawed or perfect, they did prove to the world that the Allies were willing to subscribe to the existing canon of law to judge the actions of the Nazis.

Doing so was anything but easy, Indeed, achieving a fair result that would literally convince the watching world of the guilt of the participants in the war was anything but easy, and moving toward that deliberate goal is a theme providing an interesting theme punctuating the pace of the book. Churchill wanted revenge by way of summary trials and quick retribution, while the Russians just wanted to string up the whole group in a mass hanging. Yet American Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson was able to resolve the differences well enough to proceed, although at times the reader wonders if the trials will be anything like the fair-minded judicial event he has in mind. Indeed, the back-stabbing, personal ambitions, and petty jealousies of the various factions, trial officials, and individual defendants becomes a kind of political circus that sometimes resembles nothing so much as vaudevillian showboating.
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