Albert Speer (1905-1981)

Called the “Architect of the Devil”, Albert Speer was Hitler’s right hand-man for architecture. Together they projected a new Berlin, a magnificent capital for the Third Reich.

About his life

Albert Speer was a German politician, architect (1933-1945) and Minister for Armaments and war production(1942-1945).
He was born in Mannheim in 1905 and died in 1981 in London.
At Nurnberg Trials in 1945-1946 Speer was condemned for 20 years but also he revealed that he didn’t know about the plan to exterminate Jews.
In 2007 a letter in which he admitted to have been present at a conference in 1943 was published.

Albert Speer at the Nuremberg trial.
Image source:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Speer

The entry in Nazi Party

Speer studied architecture in Munich and graduated at Berlin University in 1927, at the age of 20.
After hearing a Hitler speech in 1930, he joined the Nazi Party with enthusiasm and consciousness in 1931. In 1933, when Hitler became chancellor of German, Speer became his personal architect, winning his trust and friendship thank to his talent and efficiency.
In 1942 Albert Speer became Minister of Armament and Munitions and then Minister of War Production.

peer shows Hitler a project at Obersalzberg.
Image source:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Speer

His major works


Thank to his talent to project magnificent and monumental buildings, Speer became the chief architect of the Third Reich; he was ordered to project the Nuremberg Stadium, a building for 40.000 people and three times bigger than the Cheops Pyramid.

German Olympic Team Marching in the Olympic Stadium in Berlin,1936

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/51764518@N02/11389081664
Author: Joe Haupt


Berlin, Olympiade, Siegerehrung Fünfkampf,1936
Image source:https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-G00825,_Berlin,_Olympiade,_Siegerehrung_F%C3%BCnfkampf.jpg

From 1936 he was the author of many projects in Berlin, to make the city become the actual capital of the raising Reich. There were built wide areas with wide and classic streets and buildings, because of the Speer’s Hellenistic ideals of magnitude and greatness, adapted to the spirit of the Reich.
The most famous opera was the new Chancellery completed in 1939. Later, it was destroyed under the Allies’ bombings.

Chancellery of the Reich in Berlin (1938-1939).
Image source:https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bundesarchiv_Bild_146-1985-064-22A,_Berlin,_Neue_Reichskanzlei,_Mittelbau.jpg

War production

In 1941 Speer’s architectural work stopped because of the War, but he became a Minister of Armament. He was very appreciated for his competence to manage the production but also famous for his position about manpower.
He exploited the prisoners of the concentration camps because he considered men like tools, useful only to develop line production; his priorities were factories and machineries.

V2 suziria built during the War in Germany.
Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:V2_suziria.jpg
a V-1 on display on the Groenplaats, Antwerp (in the backgound Antwerp Cathedral).
V-1 was an early cruise missile used during World War Two. Between June 1944 and March 1945, it was fired at population centres such as London and Antwerp.
Image source:https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Antwerp_V-1.jpg

Info sources:

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Albert-Speer

https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-architecture-of-evil