Describe the Personal Background and Historical Context of the Life of Albert Speer

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Describe the personal background and the historical context of Albert Speer. “The only motive that can keep politics pure is the motive of doing good for one's country and its people”- Henry Ford Albert Speer was born in 1905 into an upper-middle class family. His family’s wealth provided the opportunity to extend his education at a university level despite the depths of the depression in 1930. After graduating with a degree in architecture, Speer was introduced to the policies of the Nazi Party; however, it did not leave a great impression due to his liberal upbringing. It wasn’t until December 1930 that he attended a party rally and saw Hitler speak; he was instantly mesmerised by his presence and confidence during a time of political…show more content…
While Gitta Sereny and Allan Bullock believe in his genuine concern for his country, others, such as Dan Van der Vat see a master manipulator; a man aspiring for personal greatness and an everlasting place in history. Whatever his motives, either pure or corrupted, the means of which Speer used to attain personal and national success was through the depravation of human rights. Speer achieved great success for the German war effort as the Minister for Armaments and Munitions once promoted in 1942. The productivity in the manufacturing and distribution of weaponry was increased drastically, serving the needs of soldiers despite constant allied bombardment. Speer took on a job in an area in which he had no prior experience but managed to improve the military sector for the benefit of his country. It was his exceptional organisational skills that was his greatest strength and led to his success as he was accredited with prolonging the war for up to 2 years. Allan Bullock suggests that he was an ‘apolitical technocrat’ and that is was his concern for the job, rather than the benefits and power associated with it, which allowed him to achieve such great heights. In this sense, Speer kept politics ‘pure’ as he aspired to improve his country in a time of disaster. However, this improvement was only beneficial to some as traditional morals and ethics were compromised when minorities such as the Jews and foreigners were exploited at Speer’s hands. In order to be so successful

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