Controversial Nazi architect and Albert Speer - Minister of Armaments and War Production.
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Albert Speer: Hitler`s Architect by Martin Kitchen
Albert Speer was one of the strangest, most elusive politicians of modern times, a flimflam man so charming that he conned everyone from Hitler to whole generations of historians and journalists. He emerged from the darkest corner of Nazi Germany with a pile of money and a reputation as an almost decent human being. It was said that Speer was the one gentleman among the gangsters who populated the upper reaches of the Third Reich. As a young architect in his 20s he heard Hitler speak and was so impressed that he signed on with the Nazi Party in 1931. He designed the spotlight-strewn Nuremberg rallies, where flags the size of sails fluttered in the air as Hitler ranted. Speer`s showmanship looked so good in Leni Riefenstahl`s film that Hitler appointed Speer his Commissioner for Artistic and Technical Presentation. That led to the most profitable relationship of his career, friendship with Hitler.
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A haunting look back at the Nazis` most famous architecture
Albert Speer`s work has come to define fascist architecture. Though many of his plans never made it past the drafting table, those that reached completion influenced everyone from Italy`s Benito Mussolini to North Korea`s Kim Il-Sung. The style is instantly recognizable: big, imposing, concrete. Here are some of his most iconic, if ill-fated, works.
Hitler`s forgotten attempt to build the world`s largest Olympic stadium
On September 7, 1937, German construction workers laid the cornerstone for what was to become the world`s largest stadium - one that would hold over 400,000 spectators. Designed by Albert Speer, the monumental structure drew as much inspiration from the Greek Panathenaic Stadium of Athens as it did from Hitler`s megalomania. But in the end, it was simply not meant to be, a project cut short by the demands of WWII and the demise of the Third Reich. During the groundbreaking ceremony, Hitler unveiled a 2-meter high model of the Deutsches Stadion ("German Stadium") to an excited crowd of 24,000 people. He described it as "words of stone" that were to be stronger than anything that could ever be spoken.
A Conversation With Albert Speer - Book Excerpt from Witness to an Extreme Century by Robert Jay Lifton
Speer told me how he had heard the Nazi leader speak at his university in Berlin in 1930, was "really spellbound" at the time and remained so for the next 15 years... Speer explained that the speech that had so moved him was Hitler`s relatively intellectual and historical treatment of German history, as opposed to his more demagogic, rabble-rousing street version. The narrative was one of revitalization: now Germany is weak and everything seems hopeless but by uniting behind Hitler and the National Socialist movement Germany and its people can once again be strong.
Albert Speer: Visions of Space documentary film online in 7 parts
Adolf Hitler`s favourite architect Albert Speer designed some of the most powerful buildings of the 20th century. This documentary film - the Visions of Space series - looks into the life of the man and his grand vision.
Albert Speer`s son helped design the architecture of the Beijing Olympics
In the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics viewers were presented with a carefully choreographed spectacle wrapped in nationalist kitsch - images that recall Adolf Hitler`s goosestepping storm troopers. By choosing Albert Speer Jr, the son of Hitler`s favourite architect and the designer of the 1936 Berlin Olympics, to design the master plan China`s government has itself alluded to the aesthetics that was a hallmark of 20th century totalitarianism. Speer Jr`s design centered on the avenue connecting the Forbidden City and the National Stadium - His father`s plan for "Germania" also relied on such a mighty central axis.
Albert Speer`s aide Hans Stefan mocked Adolf Hitler`s Germania in cartoons
This is one of the plans for Germania that Adolf Hitler did not sign off – and ones that would have seen their author decapitated if the Fuhrer had seen them. The cartoons, which poke fun at the excess vision of Hitler for a super-capital of his 1,000-year Reich were thought lost in the Berlin bombing, but they turned up recently and are showed at the Architectural Museum of the Technical University of Berlin. The cartoon sketches were made by Hans Stefan, an architect on the staff of Albert Speer, who in 1937 was tasked with the planning for the megalopolis that would show the might of the Ayran rulers.
Son of Nazi architect Albert Speer has plan for Berlin
The son of Adolf Hitler`s architect Albert Speer, famous for grandiose plans for a Nazi capital, has submitted his design to redevelop a large plot of land in Berlin. Albert Speer junior is one of the world`s top architects and urban planners, and has come up with an outline to renovate a decayed sports complex. The plans would overhaul a run-down stadium - used during the 1936 Berlin Olympics that Hitler wanted to use as a showcase for Aryan superiority. Speer junior has never overcome the nazi past of his name: "I am 73, and at that age you become tired of always being treated as the son of someone else."
2005 interview of Hilde Schramm - The daughter of Albert Speer
Hilde Schramm spent 20 years writing to her father Albert Speer in jail in an attempt to understand his Nazi past. Here she tells how it feels to be the daughter of Albert Speer. Hilde Schramm was the second oldest of Albert and Margret Speer`s six children. The family often stayed in Berghof, Obersalzberg, where Hitler and other prominent Nazi officials, such as Martin Bormann and Hermann Goering, had their country cottages. The book "His Battle With Truth" shows a photograph from 1943, of Hitler`s birthday at Berghof, where the führer stands surrounded by the children. By his side, holding his left hand, stands a radiantly happy Hilde.
March 19, 1945: Adolf Hitler orders to destroy all German infrastructure
1945: His Thousand-Year Reich in shambles and his armies shattered, Adolf Hitler issues his infamous "Nero Decree," the order to destroy all German industry and infrastructure in order to deny anything to the advancing Allies. The official order was issued under the heading "Demolitions on Reich Territory" but entered history as the Nero Decree. Fortunately for the German people the duty for carrying out this order fell to Hitler`s armaments minister Albert Speer. Speer was appalled, and embarked on a series of delays and stalling tactics before admitting to Hitler that he had sabotaged the decree.
Letter proves Albert Speer knew of extermination plans
A letter by Adolf Hitler`s architect and armaments minister Albert Speer offers proof that he knew about the extermination plans, despite his claims to the contrary in his book Inside the Third Reich. Writing in 1971 to Hélène Jeanty, the widow of a Belgian resistance leader, Speer admitted that he had been at a conference where Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS and Gestapo, had unveiled extermination plans in what is known as the Posen speech. Speer`s insistence that he had left before the end of the meeting, and had therefore known nothing, probably spared him from execution after the Nuremberg trials.
Adolf Hitler`s gold and enamel pocket watch up for sale
A gold watch belonging to Adolf Hitler is to be put up for auction. Among a collection of Hitler memorabilia to be sold is the gold and enamel pocket watch that Hitler gave to Albert Speer. Art dealer Minas Katchadorian described the collector as "devoting so much time and energy to building ... collection and we are sure there are similarly passionate collectors who will welcome the opportunity" to purchase the pieces. The same collector also put up for sale a desk and chair that was once the property of Hitler. Katchadorian said that there had been interest for the pieces from around the globe, highlighting the demand for Hitler memorabilia.
A virtual tour of Hitler`s "New Chancellery" is causing an uproar
In late Jan 1938, Hitler called in architect Albert Speer. "I have meetings with important people and I need grand halls and rooms with which to impress them." And a year later, the testament to Nazi power was finished. The New Chancellery`s stern exterior was sparsely decorated and featured a statue of a nude soldier carrying a sword. Inside, the corridor was 300 meters (328 yards) long. There was a court of honor, a mosaic hall, a round hall and a marble gallery. The reception hall was 146 meters long, twice that of the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. Hitler`s office was a staggering 400 square meters with 10-meter high ceilings. The chancellery was Hitler`s pride.
Hitler wanted a bit of the Vatican in Berlin - Documents from a secret room
Adolf Hitler intended to recreate the Vatican`s St Peter`s Square in Berlin to honour his ally Benito Mussolini, newly discovered documents reveal. Albert Speer, the Nazi leader`s chief architect, was commissioned to draw up the plans, which have been discovered by historians examining his papers. They had been stored in a secret room inside Moscow`s Museum of Architecture after being taken to Russia at the end of WWII. There were over 200 boxes of files belonging to Speer, whose grand designs for the rebuilding of Nazi Berlin were already well known. But the plans for a new, Germanic version of St Peter`s Square have stunned historians.
Albert Speer Jr emerges from Nazi father`s shadow
As the son of one of Hitler`s closest aides who spent much of his childhood at the dictator`s mountain retreat, Albert Speer knows more than most Germans what it is like to live in the shadow of the country`s Nazi past. Named after his father who was Hitler`s chief planner and favourite architect, Albert Speer Jr. was so traumatised by the war years that he developed a stutter so strong that he could barely communicate.
Wartime reports debunk Albert Speer as the Good Nazi
Albert Speer, Adolf Hitler`s architect and munitions minister, was fully aware of and involved in the mass murder despite his lifelong claims to the contrary, new documents have revealed. Speer`s reputation in Germany as the "Good Nazi" who stood by Hitler only because it enabled him to fulfil his dreams to become an architect of international acclaim, has been blackened by the disclosures that he was completely informed of the human destruction in Auschwitz, the largest of the Nazi`s murder factories.
Visions of Space Documentary - Albert Speer: Size Matters
Albert Speer: Size Matters. In 1979 Robert Hughes met and interviewed Adolf Hitler`s architect Albert Speer for his series Shock of the New. Speer died soon afterwards. 23 years later Hughes came upon the long lost tape of that conversation and was inspired to travel back to Germany to examine the legacy of a man who was, for a brief period, the most powerful architect in the world.
Albert Speer 1905-1981 : Interviews
29 December 1979 - Radio 4: Albert Speer talks to Roger Clark about designing the Nuremberg rallies and why they were staged at night, the construction of the Reichskanzlei in 1938 and other subjects.
Albert Speer - Architect of Nazi Germany
When Albert Speer was questioned by a Soviet interrogator about his role in the slave labour programme, he denied any guilt. "I took interest only in my own responsibilities... I considered my task as a technical task." Speer was a model technocrat of inter-war Germany. A frustrated young architect on the day Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, Speer was soon picking up Nazi Party contracts and the Leader`s approval. Hitler gave him the chance to remodel the whole of Berlin, and he did sell his soul. For 3 years Speer sustained Nazi Germany`s war effort - his proudest achievement, which also put him among the most important of those who collaborated with Nazi Regime.