Albert Speer, Architect by trade, Hitler devotee and personal favourite, Government Minister in Nazi Germany and the one who slipped through the hangman’s rope at the Nuremberg Trials. A controversial man of the 20th Century whose overall contribution and legacy in relation to the ‘grand stage of history’ has fueled an enormous debate amongst historians around his legitimacy in the Nazi Regime. It is often said “individuals are a product of their time”. Was Speer’s timing unfortunate or was he just a self-serving technocrat?
A qualified architect, Speer’s rise to prominence commenced after he joined the Nazi party in 1931, a decision made after hearing an impressive speech by Hitler at a rally a few months earlier. Hitler’s aggressively…show more content… As his relationship with Hitler grew closer due to a common interest in architecture, so did his need to impress, probably a result of being largely ignored by his parents as a child. His events grew more spectacular and his building designs more dominating with the aim of bringing Hitler’s grandiose plans to life. He contributed to the seductive qualities of Nazism through his architecture and his influence over Nazi aesthetics played a major role in how the Nazi Regime presented to the population, the state appearing to dominate the individual. Speer’s designs became icons of Nazi megalomania. Many historians believe that Speer was never a passionate member of the Nazi party and his motivation was less about rebuilding Germany and more about promoting himself. Historian Dan Van Der Vat claims in his book, The Good Nazi, “Like Rommell, Speer was, quite simply, good at his job - without the burden of being philosophically committed to Nazism. In Speer’s memoirs , Inside the Third Reich, “For the commission to do a great building, I would have sold my soul like Faust. Now I had found my Mephistopheles”. In 1942, now part of Hitler’s inner circle, he became Minister of Armaments and during this time completely rationalised Germany’s wartime