Albert Speer


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Speer, Albert

(äl`bĕrt shpār), 1905–81, German architect and National Socialist (Nazi) leader. A member of the Nazi party from 1931, he became its official architect after Hitler came to power. His grandiose but coldly eclectic designs include the stadium at Nuremberg (1934). A highly efficient organizer, Speer became (1942) minister for armaments, succeeding the engineer Fritz Todt. In 1943 he also took over part of Hermann Goering's responsibilities as planner of the German war economy. From Todt, Speer inherited the Organisation Todt (OT), an organization using forced labor for the construction of strategic roads and defenses. Under Speer's direction, economic production reached its peak in 1944, despite Allied bombardment. In the last months of the war Speer did much to thwart Hitler's scorched-earth policy, which would have devastated Germany. Largely because of the OT's wide use of slave labor, Speer was sentenced (1946) to imprisonment for 20 years by the Nuremberg war-crimes tribunal. He was released from Spandau war crimes prison in 1966.

Bibliography

See his memoirs, Inside the Third Reich (tr. 1970); biographies by W. Hamsher (1970), G. Sereny (1995), and J. Fest (2002).

References in periodicals archive ?
Hence ever since the time of Napoleon, Neoclassicism has held a particular appeal for totalitarian regimes: Hitler's favourite architect Albert Speer drew up plans for the redesign of Berlin--due to be called Welthauptstadt Germania--as a city of monstrous Neoclassical structures.
They also provide a fascinating insight into the trials of co-defendants Albert Speer, architect of the Third Reich, and Karl Doenitz, president of Nazi Germany following Hitler's death.
This also investigates how British army officers, who were supposed to be guarding Albert Speer, pictured, at Glucksburg Castle, pulled off the astonishing heist of the German Crown Jewels, valued even then at pounds 6million.
Albert Speer collected Nolde watercolors, and some ardent Nazis like Fritz Hippler--who later directed the notorious antisemitic film, Der ewige Jude--trumpeted the cause of German modernism in the early years of the Reich.
His concerns were echoed by senior Foreign Office official Patrick Dean, who wrote to Foreign Office political adviser in Berlin, Kit Steel, on August 20 that Albert Speer and Karl Doenitz could not be allowed to fall into Russian hands.
By an extraordinary publishing coincidence, Reedy's memoir appears in the same year that Albert Speer and Nikita Khrushchev have given us their memoirs of life at the top in Germany and Russia.
They concern men such as Albert Speer, Goering, von Ribb entrop, Hess, von Papen and Robert Ley.
Albert Speer wrote: "What he loved about fire was not the Promethean aspect, but its destructive force.
Of Hitler, Albert Speer writes that his table talk was both boring and self-centred.
Sprecher, who actually traveled in Nazi Germany in the mid-1930s, was a young army officer/lawyer when tapped to be a prosecutor in the first and most important of the thirteen Nuremberg trials--the one that convicted such Nazi bigshots as Hermann Goering, Rudolph Hess, Julius Streicher, Albert Speer, and Martin Bormann.
The text concludes with a quotation from Albert Speer that emphasizes the transient nature of ideology in Nazi Germany.