Albert Speer was the Minister of Armaments and War Production in Nazi Germany during most of World War II. A close ally of Adolf Hitler, he was convicted at the Nuremberg trials and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Speer used his writings from the time of imprisonment as the basis for two autobiographical books, Inside the Third Reich and Spandau: The Secret Diaries.
About Albert Speer in brief
Albert Speer was the Minister of Armaments and War Production in Nazi Germany during most of World War II. A close ally of Adolf Hitler, he was convicted at the Nuremberg trials and sentenced to 20 years in prison. An architect by training, Speer joined the Nazi Party in 1931 and became a member of Hitler’s inner circle. He was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity, principally for the use of slave labor, narrowly avoiding a death sentence. Speer used his writings from the time of imprisonment as the basis for two autobiographical books, Inside the Third Reich and Spandau: The Secret Diaries. He continued to deny explicit knowledge of, and responsibility for, the Holocaust. He died of a stroke in 1981, and little remains of his personal architectural work. The image of him as an apolitical technocrat responsible for revolutionizing the German war machine began to fall apart in the 1980s, when the armaments miracle was attributed to Nazi propaganda. He had a close friendship with Rudolf Wolter, who also studied under Tessenow, and would have six children with Speer’s wife Margarete Weber. In mid-1922 Speer began courting the daughter of a successful craftsman who employed 50 workers. He grew increasingly distant from his family after 1933, but the two married in August 1928. The relationship was frowned upon by his class-conscious mother, who felt the Webers were socially inferior. Despite this, they had six children together, but Speer remained distant from the family from 1933 until his death in 1981.
He is buried in a plot of land he inherited from his father in Mannheim, Germany, where he lived with his wife and three children. He also had a son with his second wife, who died in a car accident in 1986. He has a daughter with his third wife, Barbara. He wrote a book about his life, The Last Architect, which was published in 1989 and was followed by a second book, The Second Architect, published in 1991. He later died in his sleep in a nursing home in Berlin, Germany. The last book was released in 1994 and he was buried there in a private ceremony with his fourth wife, Margareta Weber, who he had married in 1928. He never had children of his own and had no children with his first wife. He lived in a house he shared with his last wife in Berlin until he died in 1991, when he moved to a new house in Berlin with his fifth wife, Grete. In the 1930s, he became a teacher at the Technical University of Munich. He taught some of his classes while his own postgraduate studies were continuing. In 1927 he became the assistant of Heinrich TessenOW, whom Speer greatly admired. In 1937, Hitler appointed Speer as General Building Inspector for Berlin. In this capacity he was responsible for the Central Department for Resettlement that evicted Jewish tenants from their homes in Berlin. In February 1942,speer was appointed as Reich Minister of War Production. He established a task force to increase production of fighter aircraft.