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Albert Speer


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#1 Gromit801

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 09:13 PM

His two monumental books, "Inside the Third Reich," and "Spandau," should be required reading for everyone on this forum.

Published a few decades ago, they seem to have been forgotten by many who are interested in WWII. I started rereading Spandau, and so much is coming back to my memory, such an excellent book/diary.
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#2 ULITHI

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 09:25 PM

Gromit, what a coincidence, I just started reading "Inside the Third Reich" last night! I bought it for a buck at a booksale.

From what I have read from reviews on Amazon, its pretty good. I'm glad to have a rogue here give a thumbs up on it as well.
Have a good one,
Darren

#3 Gromit801

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 09:34 PM

Speer's memoirs were the first to be published, by anyone deep inside Hitler's inner circle. I think Speer might have been the only survivor of Hitler's inner circle that wasn't a raving lunatic.
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#4 ULITHI

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 09:47 PM

Well, in the introduction last night, it stated that Speer knowingly put his life on the line at Nuremburg, taking responsibility for using slave labor and such. That takes some guts!

Furthermore, Speer wasn't a raving anti-semite, was he? Or am I wrong on that?
Have a good one,
Darren

#5 LRusso216

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 10:06 PM

I've owned both books for many years. I bought them when they were first published. As I recall, they were an excellent alternative look at the Third Reich, written by someone with a modicum of intelligence, although one who was too easily dazzled by Hitler. I think they might go in the queue for re-reading. Thanks for the reminder.

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#6 Gromit801

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 10:38 PM

Well, in the introduction last night, it stated that Speer knowingly put his life on the line at Nuremburg, taking responsibility for using slave labor and such. That takes some guts!

Furthermore, Speer wasn't a raving anti-semite, was he? Or am I wrong on that?


That would be a no. He had a fatal blind eye, dazzled by the pomp and circumstance, and being allowed to design freely. A thing architects only get to dream of. Hitler knew exactly which button to push on Speer, to bring him along.
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#7 Stitchy

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 11:11 PM

Don't forget Speer's third book, Infiltration: How Heinrich Himmler Schemed to Build an SS Industrial Empire; I have a hard copy on my bookshelf, but I haven't managed to get around to it yet.
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#8 Watson

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 12:20 AM

Speer was the clever one at the Nuremburg Trials. While the rest of the defendants were claiming that they were just following orders or were denying that the events even took place, Speer was bright enough to realize that the only chance to save his neck was cleanse his soul and throw himself on the mercy of the court. Whenever I watch the movie "Judgement at Nuremburg" with Burt Lancaster, I can't help but think of Speer. He was far more intelligent than the standard thugs that occupied most positions of authority in Nazi Germany, so one would have thought him more capable understanding his crimes than many of his cohorts. If he did, then his crimes were the worst of all. By the way, I have his first two books and they are interesting as well as entertaining, but it needs to be remembered that they were written by a man who was intent on justifying his past.
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#9 Martin Bull

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 05:34 AM

After reading Speer's own books, I'd highly recommend Gitta Sereny's 'Albert Speer - His Battle With Truth'.
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#10 Herr Oberst

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 06:04 AM

Don't forget Speer's third book, Infiltration: How Heinrich Himmler Schemed to Build an SS Industrial Empire; I have a hard copy on my bookshelf, but I haven't managed to get around to it yet.


An informative read indeed
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#11 ULITHI

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 06:30 PM

I am about 150 pages into Inside the Third Reich an I am very much enjoying it.

Does anyone know if any of Albert Speer's wooden models survived the war? I did a quick search, but I have not found any.
Have a good one,
Darren

#12 Gebirgsjaeger

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 06:43 PM

I dont really know it Darren, but here is a link to a model of the city of "Germania" which was made after his original plans.

Mythos Germania: So wollte Hitler Berlin umbauen | RP ONLINE

Grueße

Ulrich
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Regards, Ulrich

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#13 ULITHI

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 06:59 PM

Thanks Ulrich, I'm reading the chapter right now dealing with the great hall.

Pretty impressive model, however, Speer stated, that the great hall would have made Hitler look very insignificant when he talked in it due to its size. :D

I also read today on wikipedia about a structure in Berlin that they built to test the weight the ground could take before the built the hall, and it sank 16 cm. Aparently the ground in Berlin could not even handle the enourmous weight!
Have a good one,
Darren

#14 Gebirgsjaeger

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 07:16 PM

Darren,

if you will ever make the way to Germany, contact these guys

Berliner Unterwelten e.V. | Start

They have good tours through the Bunkers of Berlin and they take care of the "Schwerbelastungskörper".

Regards

Ulrich
Regards, Ulrich

Horrido!

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#15 ULITHI

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 07:25 PM

Danke noch einmal Ulrich!

I just found out yesterday that the ampitheater I visited outside
Heidelberg was designed by Speer. Here is a "photo of a photo" that I took in Germany back in 1998. I remember it was quite a hike to get to it! Very impressive place to eat lunch at.

Posted Image
Have a good one,
Darren

#16 Gebirgsjaeger

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 07:50 PM

Bitte gern geschehen!

Thats funny, you as an American visited Heidelberg and myself has seen that nice city only at TV!

Regards

Ulrich
Regards, Ulrich

Horrido!

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#17 Vladd

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 08:11 PM

I remember reading his book Inside the Third Reich when I was about 14 after seeing a mini series I think and really enjoying it. I'm afraid that when I re read it about 10 years later, after a few pages of his whining that he wasn't really a bad guy, the book flew across the room bounced off the wall and landed in the waste paper basket.

#18 Volga Boatman

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 11:53 PM

Albert Speer was a liar of the largest kind. His knowledge of the camps should have been obvious to all, using them as he did for a labour pool. Like Vladd, I was not bamboozled by his lucid writing style or his passionate observances of the Third Reich as a benevolent dictatorship. We should have sent a special unit to knock him off, a-la Heydrich. It would have shortened the war by many months and many lives.

Speer should have swung from the rafters at Nuremburg.
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#19 Schlagermeister

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 05:53 AM

I'm glad he didn't "[swing] from the rafters at Nuremburg" mostly because I love his books. They are most engaging and interesting reads, even if you hate the man or don't believe his version of events. Regardless, I'm glad he wrote them, and for the most part, I think he's pretty sincere in his books. I do think he honestly had remorse for what he did, and he willingly took the punishment he recieved. Naturally anyone in his position is not going to realize their faults until the sh** really hits the fan, so you shouldn't go around blaming him so much. I don't think you can honestly say you would have acted differently if you were him back then. A different time, perspective than your life now. I wish more of the higher ups were able to write their memoirs--they'd be intriguing to read and find their bias.

After having read the Speer memior in english, it is particularly fun to read it in its original German--somehow it just has that much more power to it that way....

An awesome book!

#20 Schutzstaffel1

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 05:03 PM

His two monumental books, "Inside the Third Reich," and "Spandau," should be required reading for everyone on this forum.

Published a few decades ago, they seem to have been forgotten by many who are interested in WWII. I started rereading Spandau, and so much is coming back to my memory, such an excellent book/diary.


As has been mentioned in another post, the publications by Speer himself are nicely balanced by a forensically in-depth book by Gitta Sereny, namely 'Albert Speer: His Battle with Truth". Within this awesome biography Speer's claims are examined with incredible tenacity, accuracy and historical researching. She gives us a view that perhaps all is not quite as Albert would have liked the readers of his books to think, and covers the awkward truth that despite his best efforts to persistently protest his utter ignorance to systematic murder and wanton annihilation of Jews and other peoples, Speer is caught out by historical evidence placing him in environments where knowledge of these crimes was an absolute certitude.

Therefore, if Speer's books are 'required reading' by all members of this forum, then so too should this particular bibliographical behemoth be.
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#21 LRusso216

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 05:14 PM

You may well be correct. I read Speer's books many years ago. Despite his star-struck view of Hitler and the Third Reich, reading them helps give full flesh to Hannah Arendt's views about "the banality of evil". I'm going to get hold of Sereny's book and probably re-read Speer and see how it all comes out.

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#22 ULITHI

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 05:26 PM

I am only about halfway through "Inside the Third Reich".

So, does Speer basically claim he was so busy doing paperwork and such, he wasn't aware of the "details"? Sounds a little like Eichmann's excuses if that's the case.

I did just read that Speer stated he actually told Hitler to order him to become Minister of Armaments, since he himself thought he was not qualified and it was out of his realm of the architect. I guess that might be part of his limited justification and such as well.
Have a good one,
Darren

#23 Schutzstaffel1

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 07:06 PM

My impression from Sereny's work is that Speer was a mostly modest man, all too aware of his personal failings and professional limitations. My interpretation is not that he claimed to be too busy with this ministerial or earlier architectural work to be aware of the crimes being perpetrated by his peers and Hitler (who, in some senses was an idol to him), but instead falsified accounts of his whereabouts to manufacture an aberration of the truth that both eased his conscience and partially absolved him.

He certainly lied to swerve the hangman's noose, and he was sentenced to jail for his close association with the slave labour employed by his governmental department, but I still believe the alias he had acquired for himself of 'The Good Nazi' was fair to an extent given the absence of racial fanaticalness or deliberate evil from his character, both of which were all too lucidly exhibited by many of the nazi elite.
"Be off you scoundrel. Don’t soil these steps with your feet; because these are the steps that lead to the portals of the pantheons of history, and they are not meant for place-hunters, but for men of noble character."

#24 ULITHI

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 09:36 PM

I finally finished Inside the Third Reich and found it pretty facinating. However, I was kind of surprised to see that Speer cited David Irving as a source at least twice that I can think of.

Does anyone know if Irving was not considered a nut back in 1969? I can't imagine Albert Speer wanting to associated with a Halocaust denier.
Have a good one,
Darren

#25 Martin Bull

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 06:23 AM

Irving wasn't considered a 'nut' until 1975, with the publication of 'Hitler's War'. Even then, 'nut' was probably too strong a term - it became evident at that time that Irving's identification with Hitler was maybe getting too close for comfort.

Prior to that, Irving was a best-selling author whose efforts were highly lauded by fellow historians and which had amassed him considerable wealth. He had also had unrivalled access to German veterans, helped considerably by the fact that that he had lived in Germany and spoke the language fluently.
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