One night at a dinner party in Florence, historian Daniel Lee was told about a remarkable discovery. An upholsterer in Amsterdam had found a bundle of swastika-covered documents inside the cushion of an armchair he was repairing. They belonged to Dr. Robert Griesinger, a lawyer from Stuttgart, who joined the S.S. and worked at the Reich’s Ministry of Economics and Labor in Nazi-occupied Prague during the war.

In his book The S.S. Officer’s Armchair, Lee weaves detection with biography to tell an astonishing narrative of ambition and intimacy in the Third Reich. In this book talk, historian Lisa Leff (The Archive Thief, Colonialism and the Jews) interviews Lee about his journey to learn more about Griesinger and how his most precious documents ended up hidden inside a chair, hundreds of miles from Prague and Stuttgart.

Watch the program below.