BALTIMORE -- The previously secret diary of writer and social critic H.L. Mencken reveals virulent antisemitism, racism and pro-Nazi leanings, shocking even the sympathetic Mencken scholar who edited it. The diary, typewritten on 2,100 pages between 1930 and 1948, was sealed on Mencken's instructions for 25 years after his death in 1956. When a ruling by the Maryland attorney general opened the door to publication four years ago, it was said the diaries would reveal "the worst of Mencken" and his "dark side." The newly published pages do exactly that, the Evening Sun reported yesterday. The diaries show Mencken as an antisemite, a paternalistic racist, a mean-spirited critic of colleagues who considered him a friend, and a Germanophile who never denounced Hitler but ranted against American participation in World War II. On the subject of Jews, Mencken wrote in December 1943 that the Maryland Club had no objection to a Jew from out of town eating there occasionally. "There was a time when the club always had one Jewish member, but the last was Jacob Ulman. Ulman was married to a Christian woman ... and had little to do with the other Jews of Baltimore. When he died the board of governors decided that he should be the last of the Chosen on the club roll. There is no other Jew in Baltimore who seems suitable," Mencken wrote. Of blacks, he wrote in 1943, "... it is impossible to talk anything resembling discretion or judgment to a colored woman. They are all essentially child-like, and even hard experience does not teach them anything." On Oct. 24, 1945, he wrote, "... The course of the United States in World War II ... was dishonest, dishonorable and ignominious, and the Sunpapers, in supporting Roosevelt's foreign policy, shared in this disgrace." Mencken scholar Charles A. Fecher of Baltimore, who edited the book, writes in his introduction that Mencken's hatred of Franklin Roosevelt "was, indeed, maniacal -- there is no other word to use." "The Diary of H.L. Mencken," is published by Alfred A. Knopf. Mencken is revered by many writers and journalists. The National Press Club in Washington has a library named in his honor and the Baltimore Sun bestows an annual writing award named for him. His colorful observations and often brilliant social criticism are often quoted by journalists. He spent 40 years at the Evening Sun, edited the Smart Set and the American Mercury magazines, wrote dozens of books, and contributed to numerous other publications. "His feelings about World War II are incredible in a man of his intelligence, knowledge and perception," Fecher wrote in his introduction. "He seems to have had no conception at all of what a German-Japanese victory would have meant to the civilized world, or to the liberties that he himself so cherished." Even as late as 1944, Mencken was still privately berating the Sun for supporting the Allied cause. After the war, he made no comment on the discovery of the Nazi death camps. Mencken's attitude toward blacks "was a curious mingling of total egalitarianism ... and patronizing superiority ..." Fecher wrote. He regularly published black writers in American Mercury; persuaded his publisher, Knopf, to publish their books; corresponded with and was cordial to black journalists; and had his portrait painted by a black artist. The last article he wrote for the Evening Sun in 1948 attacked segregation laws in Baltimore. But the diary reveals Mencken's "deeply ingrained conviction that black people were by their very nature inferior to white," Fecher wrote. Some Mencken scholars say the writer's own words may permanently diminish his reputation, while others believe his legend can survive. The contents of the diary, begun when Mencken was 50, are distressing to those who know and admire his writings. "Like everybody else who is going to read it, I was shocked," said Fecher, 72. "It has tempered my admiration for Mencken and made me aware of weaknesses I had not known." Fecher defended Mencken against charges of antisemitism in his 1978 book, "Mencken: A Study of His Thought." "Today I would be much less ready to take such a stand. Let it be said at once, clearly and unequivocally: Mencken was an anti-Semite," wrote Fecher. Mencken's bigotry against Jews is inexplicable because "if ever any man had a right to claim 'some of my best friends are ...' Mencken did," according to Fecher. His closest associates at the Baltimore newspapers treasured his memory, but he dismisses virtually all of them as "third raters," "non-entities" and worse. "The diaries are almost sick. I mean he hated everybody," said Gwinn Owens, a former editor and columnist on the Evening Sun whose father, Hamilton Owens, was a longtime Sunpapers editor and friend of Mencken's. In the diary, Mencken dismisses Owens as "a time-server with no more principles than a privy rat." "One of the things that really hurts ... is that after Mencken had his stroke, my father went to see him every week, sat with him and talked with him," Gwinn Owens said. "It's very sad. He had so much to say that made sense. It brought down one of my idols. For years, every time I've given a talk I've quoted the guy."