- Category : Politics-Nazi-party
- Type : GE
- Profile : 6/3 - Role Model / Martyr
- Definition : Split - Small (5,25,34,50)
- Incarnation Cross : LAX The Plane 1
German Nazi architect, author and, at one time, the second most powerful man in Germany. Serving under Hitler as an architect, he later became a Minister for Armaments and War Production. During his 25 years in prison, he wrote, "Spandau: The Secret Diaries," which was published in 1976. Speer was married with six children.
Speer, who came from a prominent German family, was highly intelligent, educated and refined. He had an unhappy, emotionally arid childhood. He attracted Hitler's attention when he was just 28 by completing a major building renovation in just three weeks. Hitler pulled the young Speer out of the crowd to become a favorite of the Fuhrer and his personal architect. The ambitious Speer leapt at this combination of almost unlimited power and flattering personal attention. His grandiose architectural plans were interrupted by WW II when he began building for the German army. Gradually, his extraordinary organizational ability made him indispensable to Germany's war efforts. In 1942 he was made minister of armaments and munitions and performed miracles in keeping Germany's arms production going in the face of Allied bombing, rebuilding factories almost over night and constructing massive underground cities for war production. To keep things rolling, his ministry became increasingly dependent on slave labor imported from the conquered territory of Eastern Europe. By the end of the war, Speer had 14 million laborers working in subhuman conditions under his command. In late 1943 Heinrich Himmler, leader of the SS, gave a speech where he informed the Nazi high command about the extermination of the Jews to bind everyone there as accomplices.
Shortly after, in early 1944, Speer had a physical and emotional breakdown. He later developed friendly relations with some of the conspirators in the plot to assassinate Hitler in July of that year. Detaching himself from it he said in later years, "I'm not happy to face it, but in the context of my life then, these workers' only significance was what they could produce toward our war effort. I didn't see or think of them as human beings, as individuals." Due to his role in the slave labor program he was sentenced to 20 years in Spandeau prison and was released at midnight on 9/30/1966. Speer was the only Nazi leader tried at Nuremberg who expressed remorse and accepted responsibility for the crimes of the Third Reich. He still denied any specific knowledge of the systematic extermination of the Jews.
After his release in 1966 Speer gained a sort of celebrity. In one of his best-selling books, "Inside the Third Reich," he denounced what he now recognized as a criminal state and gave much of the money to charities, including Jewish groups. He studied the Protestant theology of Karl Barth and went on retreats at a Roman Catholic monastery; late in life, his dearest friend was a rabbi. In 1975 the German psychoanalyst, Alexander Mitscherlich, wrote of Speer and Hitler's relationship - it was a "homo-erotic (not sexual) relationship," in which the handsome, ascetic Speer became Hitler's idealized other self and Hitler Speer's fatherly protector.
Speer died on 9/01/1981 in London, England.