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Speer preserved a sensitive heart through all the horrors of the closing years of the Third Reich. He was a good comrade, with an open character and an intelligent, natural manner. Originally an independent architect, he became Minister after Todt’s early death. He disliked bureaucratic methods and attempted to act according to a healthy understanding of human nature. We worked together without friction and always did our best to give one another such assistance as lay within our power, which is surely the obvious and sensible way to behave. But of how many prominent men in the Third Reich could it be said that they pursued this obvious and sensible course? Speer always retained his objectivity. I never saw him become exaggeratedly excited. He managed to calm down his occasionally highly temperamental colleagues, and when inter-departmental strife arose he always did his best to pacify both parties. Speer possessed sufficient courage to speak his mind to Hitler. At an early stage he explained to him clearly and fully why the war could no longer be won and why it must therefore be ended. This brought Hitler’s anger down upon him. Heinz Guderian, Panzer Leader p453, 1990
One of Hitler’s aides and closest friends. Technocrat. Visionary architect. And minister of armaments and war production. Albert Speer was the man who kept Hitler’s wheels of war turning. His most heinous crime: the exploitation and murder of millions of slave labourers: starved, beaten, worked to death in his factories. Albert Speer had blood on his hands ... Everyone’s favourite Nazi. Nazi Hunters: The ‘Good’ Nazi
Little by little Speer managed to get closer to Hitler’s side. And at last he was noticed. ibid.
He resorted to an apology and an admission of responsibility. ibid.
Astonishingly, Albert Speer got off lightly. Speer’s contrition had paid off. He had cheated death. ibid.
Albert Speer now became a media star. In fact he began to reinvent himself, creating the image of ‘the good Nazi’. ibid.
After his death his true culpability came to light. ibid.
He wanted to erect buildings more splendid, more beautiful and larger than any that had ever been built before. But he hadn’t seen, or so he later said, the blood on the hands of his Fuhrer. He wanted to produce weapons that were more powerful, more deadly and more numerous than in any other war before. But he hadn’t seen, or so he later said, the catastrophe his commander brought upon Germany and the whole world. He did it all for Adolf Hitler, who, so he later said, had one friend – him. Albert Speer. Hitler’s Henchmen: Speer the Architect
Speer was to say that he had been captivated by the magic of Hitler’s voice. ibid.
There seemed to be no end to his triumphs. ibid.
Speer promised an armaments miracle. ibid.
He was intoxicated by power, as he later put it. ibid.
The V2 turned out to be extremely unreliable. It was Speer’s greatest flop. As useless as the monumental buildings in Berlin and Nuremberg. ibid.
Speer, however, later maintained he hadn’t been present during Himmler’s speech. ibid.
The court sentenced him to twenty years imprisonment. He was released in 1966. Albert Speer died in London in 1981. ibid.
Hitler’s loyal architect and armaments minister Albert Speer: He was Hitler’s favourite. At one point tipped to succeed the Nazi dictator. Nazi Secrets: Albert Speer Unmasked
Albert Speer delivered the spectacle Hitler demanded. He became the dictator’s confidant. Few enjoyed such intimate access ... In 1937 Hitler entrusted his architect with the reconfiguration of Berlin. Ibid
He had saved his valuable art but in 1946 it was time to save himself. Albert Speer appeared before the Nuremberg war trials with other leading Nazis. He convinced prosecutors that he was an artist, unaware of the facts. ibid.
Fate seemed to smile on the so-called ‘Good Nazi’. ibid.
We do our best to provide our sons, and our fathers, and our brothers, with the weapons which are necessary. Albert Speer
Wer Judenwohnungen ohne meine Genehmi-gung vermierer, macht sich strafbar. [It is a punishable offence to let a Jew’s flat without my permission] Albert Speer, letter to landlords
No matter how great our grief is, the Fuhrer’s is greater. Through our unceasing work let us ease his pain. The success of our work is crucial to Germany’s victory. I have vowed to the Fuhrer to devote myself to this end. Albert Speer
Soon after Hitler had given me the first large architectural commissions, I began to suffer from anxiety in long tunnels, in aeroplanes, or in small rooms. My heart would begin to race, I would become breathless, the diaphragm would seem to grow heavy, and I would get the impression that my blood pressure was rising tremendously ... Anxiety amidst all my freedom and power. Albert Speer
20 years ... that’s fair enough. They couldn’t have given me a lighter sentence, considering the facts, and I can’t complain. I said the sentences must be severe, and I admitted my share of the guilt, so it would be ridiculous if I complained about the punishment. Albert Speer, cited Dr G M Gilbert
What would have happened if Hitler had asked me to make decisions that required the utmost hardness? ... How far would I have gone? ... If I had occupied a different position, to what extent would I have ordered atrocities if Hitler had told me to do so? Albert Speer
I felt this coming. I tried unsuccessfully to assassinate Hitler in 1945. I am not concerned with jurisdiction of the court as Hess or others are. History will show the trials to be necessary. Albert Speer, interview Leon Goldensohn April 1946
... In the closing stages of the war [Speer] was one of the few men who had the courage to tell Hitler that the war was lost and to take steps to prevent the senseless destruction of production facilities, both in occupied territories and in Germany. He carried out his opposition to Hitler’s ‘scorched earth programme’ ... by deliberately sabotaging it at considerable personal risk. Nuremberg trials defence
In [Albert Speer] him is the very epitome of the managerial revolution. The Observer, 1944
Officially what he said: I didn’t know, I should have known, I could have known, but I didn’t. Gitta Sereny, author Albert Speer: His Battle With Truth
You cannot look away from something you don’t know. If you looked away, then you knew. Gitta Sereny, cited BBC’s Reputations 2nd May 1996
Speer has become a true living museum of Nazis. Hunting Down the Nazis II
In September 1946 the Nuremberg tribunal reached its climax … One of the accused was Albert Speer: while the others clung to their plea they had nothing to answer for in this victor’s show trial, Speer, alone of them all, was going to become the Nazi Who Said Sorry. Reputations: Speer: The Nazi Who Said Sorry, BBC 1996
After politics, architecture was his passion. ibid.
Speer understood what was required of Nazi architecture. ibid.
Speer was now minister for arms production. ibid.
The charge against him was quite specific: the criminal use of slave labour. ibid.
He now had twenty years alone with his conscience. ibid.
A remarkable survivor: Hitler’s architect and armaments minister Albert Speer. He was Hitler’s favourite. Nazi Underworld s1e4: Hitler’s Architect
His meteoric rise in Hitlers regime was secured in 1933; the 28-year-old became the dictator’s architect, employed to bring Hitler’s grandiose plans and visions to life. ibid.
Speer became one of the biggest buyers of ‘acquired’ art. ibid.
The image of the Good Nazi was a highly profitable one. ibid.